Are obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors interfering with your daily life?
It’s natural to double-check that the iron is unplugged from time to time, to be concerned that you may be infected by germs, or even to have an unpleasant, aggressive feeling. However, if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the obsessive thinking and compulsive habits become so overwhelming that they begin to interfere with the everyday life. OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that is marked by uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts and ritualised, repeated habits that you feel obligated to conduct. If you suffer from OCD, you are undoubtedly aware that the intrusive thinking and compulsive tendencies are irrational — yet you feel unable to resist them and break away.
OCD allows the brain to become fixated with a certain idea or impulse. For instance, you can check the stove twenty times to ensure it is really switched off out of fear of setting fire to your home, or you may wash your hands until they are completely raw out of fear of germs. Although doing these repeated activities does not provide any sense of gratification, they may provide some temporary relief from the discomfort produced by the obsessive thoughts.
Obsessions are uncontrollable emotions, thoughts, or desires that repeat themselves throughout your head. You don’t want these thoughts to come to you, however you can’t avoid them. Regrettably, these intrusive feelings may be both upsetting and distracting.
Compulsions are repetitive habits or rituals that you feel compelled to do. Compulsions are usually carried out in an effort to rid oneself of obsessive thoughts. If you’re afraid of bacteria, for example, you can create intricate cleaning habits. The consolation, on the other hand, never lasts. In reality, obsessive thoughts normally return with a vengeance. And, as they grow increasingly demanding and time-consuming, compulsive rituals and activities often cause fear in themselves.
This article if for you if you have been with someone who is suffering from this. Trust me, life isn't easy with an OCD patient. On the internet, you’ll find many articles pertaining to the challenging behaviors of OCD. Here I’d tell you the DONTS of living with such patients.
- Do not play along with your loved one’s rituals: In the start of my relationship where I figured my partner was suffering with this, I decided to have a talk but he wouldn't listen. For him it was always a “habit” that he had developed over time. But I knew it was more than a habit as it was disrupting our relationship and mental peace.
If I made a mistake in the chores or his rituals, I was severely punished and threatened for not “understanding his rules”. In order to make him feel more comfortable, voluntarily I kept doing and performing his very own compulsions to relieve him of his stress. This was a serious mistake on my end. I should have never done that. In pleasing him, I didn't realize that I was helping him with compulsions and indirectly reinforcing his behavior. I should have known not to support the compulsions. If you’re in such a place, please DONOT take the punishments or any threats. Seek help immediately.
2. Don’t let OCD take over family life: This was exactly what I let happen. I was so conscious in expressing what was happening inside the room that I could hardly speak to anyone. All the rituals that I had to do were terrible and kept me on my toes at all times.
I didn't have the courage to tell his parents/siblings that he was suffering because it was a “private affair”. What I SHOULD have done was to sit down with a family member and discussed his symptoms. But then again… unfortunately the kind of family and conditions I was living in, no-one would have believed me and I would have been thrown out of the home accusing their family member with false judgements. I kept taking in the punishments for Goddamn 2 years….
3. DONT quit on communication: I wasn't able to communicate and make him understand that this was a “problem.”
Whenever I tried talking about it, he reminded me of my flaws. The conversation always reversed and we ended up in a fight. He’d always insist that it was nothing and stress triggers it but what he couldn't grasp was that it wasn't “normal.” If you’re in such a situation, communication is important, the sooner you nib the evil in the bud, the better it is!
4. DONT shy away from seeking help from Professionals and Family: I never sought that until we were on the verge of our divorce. It was however, too late.
The biggest regret I have is that I hid this from everyone around me and kept taking it all by myself. I remember, when I consulted marriage counsellors for advise he would tell me NOT to tell them about the “bedroom rules” because then the conversation would go to another side and the real agenda would be lost. But I did burst open in my 3rd year of marriage when the punishments were unbearable.
I still remember the time when I caught flu and I was strictly instructed to keep the TV remote at my bed side and not touch any of his belongings… but it was a bad day, I accidently touched the remote and then his T-shirt and …. Well .. you can imagine all the shouting and yelling that took place for days…
While it was all falling apart, I managed to speak to doctors with his condition but they all said, if the person isn't WILLING to understand that he has a problem, then you cant help him.
Its sad but true…I lost my relationship to his OCD.. every couple has its issues, ups and down but taking in punishments', not being able to sit, stand.. it was miserable… I wish he had sought help and things would have changed but …my slightest mistake could turn our most happiest moment in to a most scary one because of “not being diligent in abiding with OCD rituals”
These are just some teasers from my life, but if you’re in this situation, I urge you to seek help. There's nothing wrong with seeking help from a doctor.
Its OK to have mental issues. Its OK to seek professional advise. LETS NORMALISE talking about mental health issues with our family and friends. YOU’RE NOT ALONE. YOU CAN MAKE IT.