Obsessions and compulsions are anxiety types that centre around particular repetitive thoughts and behaviours. Obsessions are recurring thoughts, worries or even images that become difficult to battle. These are often unpleasant in nature with potentially devastating assumptions about consequences and are irrational at times.
To reduce the discomfort they cause, a person gets urge to repeat behaviours called compulsions. A person can undergo significant distress if they try to control these.
It has been found that there are many psychosocial factors that can trigger this obsessive compulsive behaviour. These factors can be sustained stress, grief from separation or loss of a loved one, traumatic experiences, etc.
Although the obsessive thoughts can be random, experts in mental health field have found them to be focused around few areas such as follows:
Common red flags
Certain behaviors and anxieties manifested in everyday life that one should identify to seek help include:
When do I need help?
Obsessions and compulsions are a problem only when certain thoughts and behaviours become disturbing or uncontrollable.
These also cause anxiety when an individual tries to stop or avoid them. One should seek help when everyday battle against unwanted thoughts and behaviors makes completion of normal tasks difficult or when they take up much
Obsessive compulsive behaviour can be controlled with confidential, non-judgmental and evidence-based help offered by mental health professionals.
What kind of help do I seek?
Obsessive Compulsive anxieties can be helped with medication, psychotherapy or combination of both.
Exposure therapy, a form of Cognitive Behavior therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment therapy (ACT) are found to be the most efficient approaches for Obsessive Compulsive anxieties.
The basic aim of all of these is to modify irrational thoughts and reduce or replace the consequent compulsions with healthy behavior patterns.
How therapy will help in this situation?
Therapy provides a non-judgmental space in which one can express their unpleasant or disturbing obsessive thoughts. There is no such thing as a taboo topic.
Therapy can help uncover the underlying cause, issues or triggers of obsessive compulsive thoughts and behaviours.