Most have at some time had hard thoughts and have felt a compulsion to do certain things. It may be to double-check if the door is really locked or the cooker is off. In obsessive-compulsive disorder, thoughts take up a lot of your time and you often have anxiety. Those who want help can get good treatments.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is also called OCD, which is an abbreviation of English’s obsessive-compulsive disorder. This article is about obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults. For a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder, read more here. You as a teenager can read more about obsessive-compulsive disorder at  UMO.

Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder

You who have obsessive-compulsive disorder often have both obsessive-compulsive and compulsive actions, but you can also have compulsive thoughts only. It is common to have the first symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder such as children or teenagers. In the case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may be very busy with obsessive-compulsive thoughts. This can make it difficult for you, for example, to go to school or to work.

It is common for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder to be ashamed of your obsessions and obsessions. It can, therefore, feel difficult to start talking to someone about your thoughts or what you do.

Compulsive thoughts will come even if you do not want them

Compulsive thoughts can be thoughts or fantasies that come even if you do not want them. They can feel uncomfortable, cause anxiety or just be annoying.

Forced thoughts can lead to coercive actions

Those with may feel that you need to do certain things to reduce anxiety when thoughts come. You may also find that you must perform the actions to prevent what you intend to happen in reality. Such acts are called compulsory acts.

For example, compulsory acts may be one or more of the following:

  • You repeat a certain word in mind.
  • You often wash your hands because you are worried about dirt or bacteria.
  • You sort things out in a certain way until it feels just right.
  • You check, for example, that the stove is turned off, although you have already done it several times.

It is important that you seek care if you have any problems that hinder you in everyday life. Without treatment, the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder can be prolonged. They often do not go over by themselves.

When and where should I seek care?

If you have obsessions and have difficulty coping with your everyday life, contact a health center or psychiatric clinic. You can contact many receptions by logging in.

At the health center, the doctor makes an assessment of your complaints. If needed, the doctor may write a referral to a  psychiatric ward for treatment in psychiatry.

You can also contact a psychiatric clinic directly. At many psychiatric hospitals, you can make a so-called self-registration. You can then either get a time for an initial assessment or be referred to a health care center.

Seek immediate medical attention if you feel urgently ill

Immediately contact a psychiatric emergency room or emergency room if you have obsessions and feel so bad that the situation feels unbearable and you feel that you can no longer cope.

Help anyone who has thoughts or plans to take their life to contact health care, if you are related. 

What can I do for myself?

It is good to be physically active if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder and feel anxious or anxious. It can help you resist forced action. For example, you can move around, preferably together with others if you feel it. Physical activity also usually helps if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder and are at the same time depressed.

Talk to someone you trust

It is good if you can talk to someone you trust. It could be, for example, a relative or someone working in healthcare. It often feels easier to tell someone how you are feeling, although talking about obsessions or compulsions can be a pain. It is especially important to dare to talk to someone if you have thoughts of suicide.

You can make a phone call if you do not have the opportunity to talk to a relative or someone you trust. If you contact a chat or phone call, you can remain anonymous.

Investigations

When you come to the health center, you get to talk to a doctor, psychotherapist or psychologist. During the interview, the healthcare professional often uses questionnaires to assess whether you have obsessive-compulsive disorder or another psychiatric diagnosis. Mental illness can occur simultaneously with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It may be one or more of the following:

It is also common for the doctor to check if you have any physical illnesses that may be causing your problems. This is often done through conversations, a physical examination and sometimes blood tests.

Treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder

There are good treatments of obsessive-compulsive disorder that help you who have obsessive-compulsive disorder get rid of the trouble. Those with obsessive-compulsive disorder can be treated with psychotherapy or medication. Sometimes it can also be good to be treated with a combination of both.

Psychotherapy can teach you to refrain from coercive actions

A special form of psychotherapy that works well against obsessive-compulsive disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy, KBT . 

One method within KBT is exposure with response prevention, which is abbreviated ERP. ERP is about someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder gradually approaching the situations, people or feelings that create discomfort and trigger compulsive actions. It is part of the therapy to expose yourself to something that is stressful and at the same time to refrain from coercive actions. This is done together with a psychotherapist whom you can get help and support from.

You can also get KBT over the internet. Read more about how KBT treatment goes to and how to register.

Drug treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder

You can also be treated with antidepressants, so-called SSRIs.

Important with knowledge of the obsessive-compulsive disorder

The reception that treats you can often offer education about the disease. It is good both for your own part and for your relatives to take part in education. It helps you understand the connection between obsessive-compulsive behavior and what you can do to stop the behavior.

What is it?

It is unclear what causes the obsessive-compulsive disorder, but research indicates that the disease may be due to both inheritance and the environment.

Related to someone who has obsessive-compulsive disorder

You who are close to someone who has obsessive-compulsive disorder may feel anxious and feel that you do not know how to help them. Therefore, it is good that you learn what compulsive syndrome is, what symptoms it can give and how you as a relative can provide support. You can often get information about the illness at the health center or the psychiatric clinic that is treating your loved one.

Avoid confirming coercive actions. A confirmation may be that you are praising someone for an enforced act, for example, after washing your hands. Obtaining this type of confirmation makes it more difficult for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder to refrain from the documents.

You can contact the health care center if you have a relative with obsessive-compulsive disorder who does not want to seek care. Then you will have the opportunity to discuss the situation with the healthcare staff and be advised how you can help your relatives. 

Influence and participate in your care

You can seek care at any healthcare center you want throughout the country. This also applies if you want to seek care at open specialist clinics. Sometimes a referral is required. Being able to influence and participate in their care is regulated in the Patient Act.

You have the right to an interpreter

In order for you to be involved in your health care, it is important that you understand what the health care provider says. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

The interpreter can often be booked by the health center or reception. It is good to inform the healthcare provider at the first contact if you need interpretation. The interpreter has a  duty of confidentiality,  just like everyone else who works in the health care sector. This means that they are not allowed to disclose information about you.

You should be able to feel safe in the care

Once you have received information about the treatment you can give your consent or express a yes in another way. You can also refuse treatment.

You are entitled to a so-called permanent care contact if you meet many different people in connection with your care. It is a person who among other things helps to coordinate your care.

Ehtisham Nadeem

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