Similar to most industries, the treatment of Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder encompasses a wide range of language. Coming across these terms in your research can cause confusion and may even discourage you from seeking treatment.
OCD Concepts has been developed as though we are speaking to someone with OCD. We want you to have an understanding of the disorder in an easy-to-read format that conveys empathy. We hope it helps.
Obsessions: Another word for obsession is fear. Obsessions are repetitive thoughts, images or impulses that cause anxiety or worry. Obsessions are always unpleasant and distressing but the content of obsessions is different for everyone.
You will find a lot of information online about common subtypes of OCD. Understand it may be difficult for you to distinguish where you fit within the subtypes, but do not let this discourage you from getting help.
Compulsions: Also known as rituals, compulsions are done because they eliminate or reduce anxiety caused by obsessions. Compulsions do not work very well, but they worked once! The brain remembers this and relies on it.
Rituals change and evolve over the course of OCD because the brain depends on them to work to reduce the distress. If a previous ritual is no longer working, then the brain develops more complex rituals, or rules that must be followed.
There are subtypes of compulsions just as there are subtypes of obsessions. These are usually more easily identified than the obsessions.
Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder: OCD can be conceptualized fear. The rules of logic do not apply to this fear; the only rules that matter are those that reduce the distress and anxiety.
Compulsions maintain the fear and the fear maintains the disorder.