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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Question:

dear sir, my name is ryan and i am 17 years old.i remember that when i was 15 years old i used to do things that were not practical,for instance i used to murmer my name about a 100 times before sleeping,i also had of washing my hands as i feared that they were always contaminated etc.but then, i didnot know that i was suffering from ocd.due to my behaviour my friends started deserting me.though this acted as a blessing in disguise as i started looking into this problem of mine and i tried my best to control this habit of mine.now that i am 17 years old i feel that i have totally overcome this problem of mine and i no longer do these things anymore.infact i have made a few very good friends and i find my past behaviour highly irrational.my question is that can a mental disorder like ocd be cured all by yourself or would these symptoms again reappear in my life.please help. yours sincerely, ryan.

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Answer:

Ryan: 

I am very pleased to learn from you that you have overcome your obsessive compulsive problem. If you overcame it by forcing yourself to not perform the rituals that bothered you then you carried out a kind of treatment that some psychotherapists do. In other words, one way to put an end to compulsive rituals is to prohibit the patient from performing them no matter how much they may want to. This is a type of behavioral therapy based on the idea of blocking a repetitive behavior that does no good. There are other types of behavioral therapy including flooding in which a patient if forced to repeat the ritual so many times that they find it punitive and no longer wish to engage in it.

You ask whether or not the obsessive-compulsive symptoms can ever return? OCD is an anxiety disorder that results in attempts to reduce fear and tension by engaging in these behaviors and thoughts in the magical belief that the fears will subside. Unfortunately, there is a chance your symptoms could return if you are under enough stress and worry to cause a rise in anxiety and, therefore, in the compulsive behaviors. After all, life can have episodes of stress, worry and anxiety.

If you symptoms occur again it is possible for you to get help by seeing a therapist and even taking medication. There are medications that reduce the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder so that they do not cause discomfort.

Also understand that OCD is very common and, in fact, not unusual for teenagers to go through. It’s unfortunate that your so called friends were not more understanding. My guess is that some of them had similar symptoms but kept it secret.

Best of Luck

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Comments
  • Hanna

    Hello Doctor

    I'm 32 yrs old, my whole life felt sorry for the situations that I had nothing to do, I thought that I was being it was sympathy. always thought about negative consequences, and I avoided every situation that could lead me experience these consequences, I though that I was being careful, and I enjoyed the complement that people give me, careful and kind person, however the fear of saying or doing wrong things have been great inside me and worrying about other people issues. Anyhow never I thought it is something that I need help with. Four years ago I took job in my home city and reunited my family and old friends of mine, I felt sorry for them because they did not have the experience in a big and different life that I had, and made my self humble and caring. And they make decision of my life in anyway, at the end I felt weak and worthless. After that I started having negative imagination, I imagine putting my self in difficult position that will lead me lose my life, or end up hurting my self, I have fear of each individual that I knew or met with. I feel that no one will ever help me or I will never have the courage to help my self, it all comes in imaginary form, I unrealistic thoughts and I feel hopeless, all I want to is isolate my self, and I hate being alone with my thought and I look for new people to be close to and again I fear my new friends, or afraid I might lose them and went back helpless. Ongoing thoughts never give me a break from morning till I fall to sleep... My doctor said you I could probably have ocd and a depression, with paranoia. Can you think of any idea if it is ocd and how to cop with.. think it is OCD gives me at least the believe that what is in my imagination will never come to reality, is that true? Sometimes I wonder that if I am keep thinking these thoughts maybe one day I will act on it, is that true? They feel so real…

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Hanna

  • Anonymous-1

    has CBT to be done with a behavioural therapist or it can be done by oneself too

    Editor's Note: It is possible to work CBT-style in a self-help mode,(see this section of our online self-help book Psychological Self-Tools for discussion) but it is generally much less effective to do so than to work with a trained CBT psychotherapist. The reason is that having the third party objective perspective available to you very much helps you to accomplish the reframing and proper identification of automatic thoughts that forms the core work of CBT. If people could easily do this sort of thing themselves, they would (grin!). Working with a therapist also is helpful becuase having the appointment with a therapist helps to motivate people to continue doing the work of CBT. CBT is intended to help people form new thinking habits, and this takes a lot of repetative work there is no substitute for doing the homework again and again. It's easier to do this work when you have someone who you are paying and who expects to see it (becuase people tend to take more seriously what they invest in, and what others expect of them).

    CBT may also not be enough by itself in some circumstances and for some problems. Another reason to work with a therapist is that the therapist can offer other therapy variations such as exposure with response prevention, or mindfullness techniques, that may result in a better outcome than pure thought-only CBT therapy techniques.

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