Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and intrusive thoughts are very complex illnesses that can require a great deal of diagnosing and treating.
While OCD is a surprisingly common mental condition that a lot of people suffer from, a lot of people can still be at a loss as to what the reality of an OCD diagnosis entails and what are the causes of OCD and intrusive thoughts.
OCD can affect anyone, men, women, and children, with the symptoms of this condition often manifesting themselves during puberty or early adulthood — however, this is not a certainty.
The various types of OCD and intrusive thoughts can vary from an occasional inconvenience to a life-changing obstacle from person to person. However, no matter how severe you believe your OCD or intrusive thoughts to be, it is always worth seeking out treatment on the off chance that the symptoms get worse, or simply continue to wreak havoc on your day-to-day life.
Here at Asana Lodge, we provide treatments for many mental disorders and conditions, and we may be able to offer treatments for OCD that match your needs and/or requirements. If you think that this might be the case then contact us on 01908 489 421 for more details.
What Is OCD?
An individual who is suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder will typically experience constant, or very frequent, obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours.
In this vein, an obsession will typically be defined as an unexpected, unwanted, and displeasing thought or urge which will repeatedly jump to the forefront of your mind — in turn causing that person to feel anxious, disgusted, or generally uneasy in their current situation.
You may be specifically wondering, “What are compulsions?” Well, a compulsion is perhaps best understood as a repetitive mental act or behaviour which a person will feel compelled to do or perform in order to momentarily alleviate unpleasant feelings which are brought about by said obsessive thought.
A typical example of this is where a person suffering from OCD may feel that they need to check doors and/or windows are locked multiple times.
Sure, this is something that a lot of people feel that they might occasionally need to do, but a person suffering from OCD may feel compelled to recheck doors multiple times even when they know deep down that they have already checked them.
As, if they do not check them, these people will feel a deep and certain sense of dread that something bad will happen as a direct result of them not re-checking.
It is also quite common for new mothers to develop certain levels of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, as they can become fixated on unwanted thoughts that they may be harming their baby even when this is not the case.
What Is The Definition of Intrusive Thoughts
Broadly speaking, unwelcome thoughts that force themselves to the forefront of our brain can be classed as intrusive thoughts. These thoughts can come in the forms of images, sounds, or statements, and can be of varying severity.
Some of the most common examples of intrusive thoughts can be people becoming concerned about their safety or a risk to themselves or those around them — perhaps best exemplified in connection with the above example regarding those who become obsessed with frequently checking that doors and/or windows are locked.
However, another incredibly common form of intrusive thought can be unwanted sexual thoughts and/or images bursting into a person’s head.
Other, and sometimes more severe, forms of intrusive thoughts can be associated with conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Following a trauma, people suffering from PTSD can experience intrusive thoughts that cause them to replay some or all of the trauma that they have suffered in their mind — be it an attack, an abusive ex, or even a big change in their lifestyle as a divorce.
Flashbacks to moments of trauma can bring about elevated heart rate and feelings of severe panic, therefore are important to be treated.
Causes Of OCD And Intrusive Thoughts
There are many factors that are believed to contribute to an individual developing OCD — however, there is no one definitive answer sadly. Some of the most common factors which can lead to the development of this disorder include the likes of:
- Family History — if a family member of yours suffers from OCD then it is likely that you may also develop the condition due to genetic factors. Although, if a close relative does have this condition then you are not 100% certain to also develop this condition.
- Brain Imbalances — certain individuals who present with OCD can be shown to have unusual activity in certain areas of their brain, be it high levels of general brain activity or low-levels of serotonin present in the brain.
- Lifestyle/External Factors — Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can often be more likely to manifest in people who experienced large traumatic life-events, such as childhood neglect or abuse, bullying, or a sudden loss.
- Personality Factors — people who are overly neat, generally anxious, or extremely methodical have been known to sometimes be more likely to develop OCD. This can stem from high personal standards or due to a feeling of duty/responsibility to those close to them.
Perhaps the most common form of treatment for OCD is psychological therapy — specifically therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). CBT and therapies such as one-to-one counselling will help an individual to break out of the cycle of intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviours that OCD can cause them to present with — often done by unearthing the origin of their development of the disorder and then retraining the brain to avoid falling into these cycles once again.
Asana Lodge have a host of specialists who excel at administering CBT and one-to-one counselling, as well as such therapies as NAD+ therapy, Satori Chair Therapy, family therapy, and much more.
Struggling with OCD and intrusive thoughts can be a very difficult daily battle, and the thought of getting therapy to overcome this illness can be seen just as, if not more, terrifying.
However, with the help of a medical professional, such as the ones here at Asana Lodge, you can overcome this illness and start living your life free from these intrusive thoughts and behaviours once more.Back to all posts