Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Are compulsions taking over your life? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be a debilitating problem characterized by repetitive and ritualistic behavior. The problem begins as intrusive or fearful thoughts that the person tries to assuage through rituals. Rituals are behaviors that are repeated to reduce anxiety. Rituals can be reparative or propitiatory in nature. Reparative rituals are intended to correct or repair something bad that previously happened. Propitiatory rituals are intended to prevent something bad from happening in the future. Some rituals like cleaning can have both a reparative and propitiatory quality. The nature of the rituals can be either rational or irrational. Rational rituals have a recognizable logic, but are taken to extremes. For example, people who want to avoid germs can wash their hands, but this becomes exaggerated. Irrational rituals usually have a magical or symbolic quality. Shakespeare's Lady MacBeth washed her hands to remove the guilt of having "blood on her hands."

Pure Obsession

Having the same thoughts over and over? Pure obsession is classified as OCD, but differs from the common type by the absence of obvious rituals. Rituals may be truly absent, or they may have an internal form of repetitive thoughts that are not observed by others. Obsessions can be a pre-occupation with a person or thing, like obsessive love, or it can be ruminations or replays of thoughts or events. Obsessions can be typified by overthinking or an overactive mind, or can even be produced by a traumatic event that burns an image into the mind's eye.

Perfectionism

Need everything in perfect order? Perfectionism is frequently associated with OCD, but it can also be a an independent personality trait. In adults it can be fastidiousness, cleanliness, or attention to detail. But in children or some adults it can be a decline in grades or performance. When perfectionism goes to the extreme, the person can develop an all or nothing mentality: if it is not perfect, then it is nothing. This can lead to a lack of trying or effort that can be mistaken for lack of motivation or laziness.

Motor Tics

Feeling twitchy? Motor tics or twitches are classified differently from OCD because they are generally involuntary. Usually associated with anxiety or sometimes as a side effect of stimulant medication, motor tics can be embarrassing to the person who experiences them. Motor tics can be treated using a combination of techniques that are common to anxiety and OCD treatment.

Sexual Compulsions

Addicted to porn or enslaved by compulsive sex? Sexual compulsions are generally considered impulse control disorders or as sexual disorders. However, they can be treated as pleasurable compulsions with similar effectiveness. Whether it is pornography abuse, promiscuity, or illicit activity, sexual compulsions can be successfully treated.