Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which individuals have recurrent, disturbing thoughts they can’t prevent unless they engage in specific behaviours. It is a type of mental illness.
People with OCD can have either obsessive thoughts or urges or compulsive, repetitive behaviours, such type of disorder can affect your job, school, and relationship, your thoughts and action are beyond your control, although you may not want to think or do these things you feel powerless to stop. Many people with OCD know that their thoughts and habits don’t make sense but they are unable to quit their obsessive thought which includes different types of fear like getting hurt, constant awareness about blinking, breathing or other sensations of the body, suspiciousness.
With an example I want to tell you what exactly is the meaning of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – have you ever left your home, gotten halfway down the street, and then returned to see if you really locked the door or turned off the stove? And have you ever worried about catching a disease by touching infected people or objects? Most of us will say yes, we do have had such experiences, and they are completely normal, but some people experience intense anxiety about such concerns. These individuals have disturbing thoughts or images of which, they can’t get out of their minds (obsessions) unless they perform some action or ritual that somehow reassures them and helps to break the cycle (compulsions). These compulsive thoughts then become a compulsive habit. Unfortunately, obsessing or being obsessed are commonly used terms in everyday language. These more casual uses of the word mean that someone is preoccupied with the thought, an idea or even a person.
What can be the cause of such reactions?
Not all “rituals” or forms of repetitive behaviour normal repetitive behaviour that features everyday life may include bedtime routine, religious practices and learning a new skill are called “obsessions”. We all have repetitious thoughts occasionally; for example– after watching a film that contains disturbing scenes like of violence and someone is sensitive to it’ might find themselves thinking about those scenes over and over again, but it’s temporary, but the individual who has the obsessive compulsive disorder is almost unable to do so. They are made anxious by their obsessive thoughts but they can’t dismiss them out of their minds. Moreover, all such thoughts arise from past experiences, that creates a fixed idea in their mind, whereas, some of these thoughts are so dangerous that they must be voided at all costs, they think that, only by performing specific actions can these individuals ensure their safety and reduce their anxiety or fear and day by day because of these rituals do help reduce to their “anxiety”, the tendency to perform them stronger. Fear is a powerful emotion that can play an important role in survival. Common OCD compulsions include – washing and cleaning, includes checking body parts or checking that nothing terrible happens, repeating the mental compulsions which include praying to prevent harm.
Unfortunately, obsessing or being obsessed are commonly used terms in everyday language. These more casual uses of the word mean that someone is preoccupied with the thought, ‘an idea or even a person or urges’. One might try to ignore them or get rid of them by performing a compulsive behaviour or ritual. These obsessions typically intrude when they are trying to think or to do other things.
Possible causes of OCD
• Genetics- Individuals with OCD are more likely to have first-degree family members exhibiting the same disorder than do matched controls. In cases where OCD develops during childhood, there is a much stronger familial link in the disorder than cases in which OCD develops later in adulthood. A mutation has been found in the human serotonin transporter gene.
• Auto Immune Disorder- In some cases, rapid onset of OCD in children and adolescents may be caused by a syndrome connected to the group of streptococcal infections, known as pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders
• Cognitive Models- it suggests that dysfunctional beliefs & maladaptive appraisal underlie unhelpful strategies in the management of intrusive phenomena. Such strategies lead to extreme reactions to specific intrusive thoughts, images or urges, resulting in obsessive & compulsive symptoms.
• Neurobiological- Neurobiological model of obsessive-compulsive disorder: evidence from recent neuropsychological and neuroimaging findings. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was previously considered refractory to most types of therapeutic intervention. There is now, however, ample evidence that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and behaviour therapy are highly effective methods for treatment of OCD.
Furthermore, recent neurobiological studies of OCD have found a close correlation between clinical symptoms, cognitive function, and brain function. A large number of previous neuroimaging studies using positron emission tomography, single-photon emission computed tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have identified abnormally high activities throughout the frontal cortex and subcortical structures in patients with OCD. Most studies reported excessive activation of these areas during symptom provocation. Furthermore, these hyperactivities were decreased after successful treatment using either selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or behavioural therapy. Based on these findings, an orbito-fronto-striatal model has been postulated as an abnormal neural circuit that mediates the symptomatic expression of OCD.
Common treatment involves counselling such as cognitive behavioural therapy and sometimes antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or clomipramine. But, we also have homoeopathy which has treasures to deal with psychiatric issues. Homoeopathy is a system of medicine founded by a German physician Dr Samuel Hahnemann. It is based on the principle that “Like Cures Like” which means that a medicine which is capable of producing certain effects when taken by a healthy human being is capable of curing any illness that displays similar effects. In older times, it has been said that poison is the medicine for the poison that is what homoeopathy follows. The practice of homoeopathy is based on certain fundamental principles. Firstly, the remedies that are used are tested on healthy human provers to see the symptoms that are produced. These symptoms are then recorded in the detail and then they are practically used. Homoeopathy not only works on the organs of the human body, but it also works and treats the individual in and out (mind, thinking, reactions).
Every individual carries within himself his own doctor, the healing power, energy and life force. The disease is merely the disturbance of this life force. Homoeopathy aims at correcting the disturbed (vital) life force so that the body can heal itself. Homoeopathy follows the law of individualization which means every individual is different from another individual in mental state, physical symptoms, behaviour, personal habits, hobbies, sleep pattern, occupation etc. These characteristics define the overall makeup or temperament of the person and homoeopathy treats the individual as a whole. Every individual perceives each situation differently and reacts in a unique way depending upon his temperament. Everyone person is unique, his symptoms are unique and differ from another person. His fears, mania, actions and compulsions come from his own experiences and feelings which leads every patient’s case to need special attention and understanding that is possible in homoeopathic treatment. Past experiences whether emotional or physical experiences with oneself or with your associated people contribute a huge amount of role. In homoeopathy, the cause is tried to find on the individual level, we understand the concept and ideas in a patient, we analyze the emotions that lead to compulsive disorders. In homoeopathy we call such fears and emotions as “delusions”, that is the fertilizer for every compulsive disease.
Delusion is a false perception of reality. Perception is what you think about reality. It is the individual way of thinking which is far different from reality. The whole mental state of a person is an expression of the disease which is called Delusion. What is a disease? It is not just a physical problem, the root cause of every disease lies in the mental state of the person, every illness that manifests in the human body first comes on the mental sphere and in fact, it is the real disease of the individual. The way patient thinks, behaves, feel, likes, dislikes plays a great role in building up the delusion. The delusional state of the person needs to be treated not merely the signs and symptoms, once the delusion of the person is treated, the disease can be reversed. In several cases, it can be seen, how a delusion can overpower your mind and disease can be manifested.
These are few remedies in Homeopathy that can be used in OCD:
1. Arsenic Album
3. Lac Canninum
4. Rhus Tox
Arsenic album – This is a great remedy for compulsive disorders. Patients who need this remedy often have compulsions to lock and check the doors, cupboards. They are very particular about their possessions with the great fear that somebody would take them away. They usually experience the fear of robbers and hence because of this fear, they act compulsively and have a lot of anxiety and anxiousness. With the strong thought that people will take away everything they have they land up into anxiety and restlessness with fear of death. The main fear is that, whatever they have, it is going to be snatched.
Anguish- driving one out of bed at night, and from one place to another in the daytime. Restlessness- Great fear of being left alone. Anger with anxiety, restlessness, inconsolable anguish, with complaints and lamentation, hypochondriacal humour with restlessness and anxiety fear of solitude, of spectators, and of robbers, with a desire to hide oneself and lastly, they find no rest, especially at night. Despondency, despair, a weariness of life, inclination to suicide, or excessive fear of death, which is sometimes believed to be very near Too great sensibility and scrupulousness of conscience, with gloomy ideas.