Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Not necessarily is it always harmful. In fact, to some extent it acts as a useful tool for survival. However, if the level of anxiety becomes too intense and excessive and the reaction to it becomes irrational, the condition is subject to medical attention and can be termed as an instance of Anxiety Disorder.
As estimated by National Institute of Medical Health (NIMH), over 40 million people in the United States are suffering from some type of anxiety disorder. If left untreated, the condition can turn out to be absolutely disabling. This condition can develop without any apparent cause, or it may be associated with some other psychological or physical illnesses, including the possibilities of substance or alcohol abuse.
Many treatment lines are available to support patients to be able to effectively lead their lives. Living with Anxiety Disorder has become much easier than before with the blessings of advanced medication and psychotherapeutic approaches. There are various types of anxiety disorders such as; Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia Disorder, and Panic Disorder.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized with a recurrent and upsetting thought, (obsession), accompanied by persistent rituals, (compulsion), in order to control these upsetting thoughts. People suffering from this disorder may be obsessed with germs, and as a result, they may clean their hands repeatedly to make them germ free. This continuous action offers them a temporary relief from their unpleasant thoughts.
Common compulsions include repeating the same action again and again. An example is locking, unlocking and re-locking the door, counting, touching, etc. Common obsessions may include an unusual fear or anxiety of harming loved ones, feelings of being socially insecure, unusually anxious thoughts about being burglarized, etc. The irony of this complication is that the victims themselves understand that their actions virtually make no sense, and still they are unable to control it.
Nearly 2.2 million people in the United States are suffering from OCD. OCD can overlap with eating disorders or any other form of anxiety disorders. There is no marked gender difference concerning the development of such a condition. It affects almost an equal number of males and females during their childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. At its extreme end, OCD can severely interfere with the normal activities of an individual.
Patients suffering from OCD may respond well to the treatment designed specifically with a combination of medication and psychotherapy, especially Exposure Therapy. Some modern techniques such as deep brain stimulation are employed to treat patients with OCD.
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