Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Symptoms and Treatment
March 02, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Symptoms and Treatment

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a pattern of irrational, persistent, and unwanted thoughts and fears (obsession) and repeated behaviors (compulsion). This leads to disruption in daily life activities which consequently causes an abundance of distress.

These unwanted, obsessive thoughts interfere with your peace of mind. You try to push them out but they keep coming back. This pushes you to compulsively follow those thoughts in a manner that eases your distress. Soon it becomes a vicious cycle, a pattern that you feel like you must follow for your ease of mind. If you do not do it, you are susceptible to major anxiety.

Approximately 2.3% of the world population suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and women are more likely to fall prey to it. The onset of OCD commonly happens in the late teens and early ’20s but sometimes it can also begin at the age 35-40.

OCD comes with particular themes. For example, there may be an excessive fear of contamination, dirt, germs, and such. Also, there could be a pressing urge to check and double-check your locks multiple times even though you know it is locked. Similarly, there are several behaviors that one senselessly does to calm their anxiety which display both obsession and compulsion.

Although there are different behaviors carried out by sufferers of OCD, the themes often broadly fall under 5 main themes or categories of OCD. These are:




       Symmetry and order

       Intrusive thoughts and persistent ruminations

Under these 5 categories, there are infinite forms of OCD. For example, some of them may look like these:

       Persistent doubts about turning off the stove or locking the door

       Intense irritation and stress when things are not in perfect symmetry or order

       Thoughts of shouting inappropriate and obscene things out loud

       Recurring offensive sexual images

       Counting in distinct patterns

       Walking in certain patterns

       Following the exact same order/sequence for routine activities like a ritual and getting seriously distressed if something changes

       Washing hands until the skin becomes raw and chafed

       Fear of contamination when touching something others have touched

       Uneasiness while shaking hands

An important thing to know is that the severity of these obsessions and compulsions varies from patient to patient. Typically, the symptoms are less in severity in the beginning and gradually increase. However, it does not mean that they cannot be controlled and managed enough not to interfere with daily life. There is no hard and fast cure for OCD but with proper therapy and medication, it can be curbed.

Treatment for OCD and When to See a Doctor

Firstly, one must learn the difference between being a perfectionist and having obsessive-compulsive disorder. For a perfectionist, it is important to do things neatly and perfectly because they like to do so. On the other hand, patients with OCD do not like keeping order, it is that they feel compelled to do so.

Hence, if one is experiencing the latter which is disrupting their daily life, then it is time to get help. Book an online appointment now with Shifa4U to get a diagnosis and proper medication. The treatment for OCD includes the following:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This is a psychotherapeutic treatment that involves identifying and changing disruptive compulsions, disturbing thought patterns, and unhealthy habits. With its techniques of exposure and response, it can lead a person to change the way he/she thinks, acts, and feels.


Specific drugs like Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil and Luvox are used to treat OCD. It is important to consult a doctor for the right dosage of these drugs. You can get a prescription from Shifa4U along with suitable medications from top-grade pharmacies.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.