The terms ‘OCD’ (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and ‘Control Issues’ are often interchangeably used because they are wrongly interpreted as the same. There are distinctive differences between the two, as the experts point out. However, what remains common between them is that they are both triggered by stress.
This Stress Awareness Month (April), in collaboration with The Channel 46, Dr Kedar Tilwe, Consultant-Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital & Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, educates you on OCD and control issues and advises ways to keep both under control.
Understanding OCD & Control Issues
- Obsessions are repetitive intrusive thoughts that a person suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) recognises as his/her own. However, they are usually ego-dystonic and produce a significant amount of distress within that individual like repetitive thoughts of contamination.
- Compulsions seen in OCD are repetitive acts usually in response to obsessions, which many at times help reduce the distress associated with compulsions like repetitive hand washing
- A person suffering from OCD has a fair to moderate insight and will recognise both the compulsions and obsessions as excessive, but will not be able to control the impulse to act out on them
- Worries are a feeling of apprehension or Anxiety over actual problems. Worries can become a source of concern only if they are excessive or cause a person to avoid at all costs or situations
- Another important factor to remember is that co-morbidities are common with OCD like major Depression and Anxiety
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7 Ways To Address Them & Get Them Under Control
1. Building Insight Regarding Obsessive Behaviour
Insight building and helping the person understand the obsessions and compulsions would go a long way in helping them deal with the issues.
2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has shown to be a very helpful therapy. This is especially effective when used in combination with medicines to combat OCD symptoms. It is equally effective in battling Worries too.
3. Opting For Behavioural Techniques
A host of behavioural techniques like Thought Stop Techniques, Flooding, and Systemic De-sensitisation have been shown to be effective while dealing with OCD
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4. Meditation & Relaxation Exercises
Meditation and Relaxation exercises like Progressive Muscular Relaxation, Mindfulness techniques, Yoga, and Body Scan meditation are especially helpful while dealing with Worries.
5. Supportive Counselling & Other Therapies
Supportive counselling, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Motivational Interviewing, Inter-Personal Therapy as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and medication can be helpful as some of the interventions considered while tackling co-morbidities such as Depression, Anxiety and substance use disorders associated with OCD.
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6. Lifestyle Alterations
Lifestyle alterations such as stopping cigarettes, tobacco, and alcohol and limiting coffee may help limit the precipitation of unnecessary Worries.
7. Psychoeducation To The Patient’s Support System
Psychoeducation to the family member or the support system of the patient is of vital importance in helping them understand the nature of the illness, deal with expressed emotions such as hostility and learn how to best support their loved one through his/her tough time.
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