How does obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affect daily life?

The symptoms associated with OCD can be very frustrating and intrusive on one’s everyday life. People with OCD frequently experience obsessions, compulsions, or both. These thoughts and behaviors can seriously affect one’s work or school performance, and even their personal relationships. 
 
Obsessions are recurring thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety and uneasiness. Common obsessions include fear of germs/contamination, needing things symmetrical or in a specific order, and unwanted thoughts involving sex, harm, religion, or aggression towards others or self.
 
Compulsions are repeated behaviors that people with OCD feel an uncontrollable urge to do due to their obsessions. Common examples of compulsions experienced by people with OCD include excessive cleaning, frequent handwashing, ordering/arranging things, repeatedly checking on things, and compulsive counting. 
 
These intrusive thoughts and ritualistic behaviors can frequently interrupt one’s daily routine and potentially impair one’s performance at work or school. They often spend at least one hour a day on these behaviors. It can also have a negative impact on one’s relationships. People with OCD can recognize their thoughts and behaviors are unreasonable but can’t control them. 
 
Potential complications of OCD include:
 
  • Inability to go to work or school, or attend social activities
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Poor quality of life 
  • Problems in relationships
 
living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
 
 

Sources
  • “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health, Jan. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2017.
  • "Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Sep. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2017.

 

From Our Blog: Talking to a Loved One About Mental Illness
Learning about a friend or loved one’s diagnosis of a mental illness can be a tough pill to swallow. However, it is important to show that person that you are there for them, as your support can be beneficial to their treatment. Here are some tips on how to talk to a loved one about their mental illness:
 
talking to a loved one about mental illness

 

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