OCD – the famous abbreviation for a psychological disorder called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The disorder is characterised by the constant need to carry out a certain action repeatedly. An OCD patient may repeatedly open and close a door without any apparent reason. Another may wash their hands repeatedly. The symptoms sometimes also come at the cost of their physical well-being, with patients testifying to having stayed up whole nights doing something repeatedly. Restraining the patients from carrying out the action can sound like an obvious solution. But it isn’t. Restraining an OCD patient would only cause him more anxiety while his mind fixates on doing the action eg. washing hands repeatedly. While all of us have Obsessive Compulsion (OC) to some degree or the other, but it is diagnosed as a disorder only when it interferes with normal life and functioning.
From what I’ve read on psychology, OCD is a result of not attaining closure by performing an action once. It is said to be normal to do something and stop doing it once the goal is accomplished or the person is exhausted. But an OCD patient never attains closure and thus continues doing an action even beyond exhaustion. The patient knows that what he’s doing isn’t considered normal but yet, he will continue to do something repeatedly until he gains mental closure from that action.
One key way to combat OCD is by practising ways to gain closure. The mind gains closure only when it can calm down and stop obsessing about a particular thing. To calm the mind, meditation is an excellent tool. It works against OCD by attacking it’s root cause. Meditation reduces overthinking and hence goes a long way on the way to an OCD free life.
So remember, If you think you have OCD please consult a psychiatrist and get it confirmed. Sometimes what you might mistake for OCD, might just be a normal obsession. If after a psychiatric consultation, you are diagnosed with OCD – work with your psychiatrist and fully co-operate with him. And also a message for my readers – just because you consulted a psychiatrist doesn’t mean you are abnormal. The human mind is a complex machine and we all need help in figuring it out.