Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

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What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that causes people to have constant and obsessive thoughts or fears, in addition to becoming compulsive, which triggers repetitive behavior.  It’s common for most people to think about certain things at random times throughout the day, or to be worried and have fears. When anxiety begins to interfere with your daily life, it can be a trait of OCD.  OCD is more apparent when people feel the urge to perform rituals or routines to help alleviate the anxiety or nervousness they feel when having a reoccurring thought.  For most people it provides a temporary relief, but then it becomes a routine that they must continue to perform when their fear, anxiety, or obsession returns.  Even though the person is aware that their actions or thoughts may not be logical, they still have the urge to do it.  Most people experience the disorder in their teenage years or early adulthood, but children can also experience OCD.

Signs Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessions are involuntary thoughts or impulses, while compulsions are behavioral rituals or routines.  Most people experience both, but some people only undergo obsessions or compulsiveness.  The signs and symptoms related to OCD often vary because they’re very personal and specific to the individual.  Symptoms often occur gradually, becoming more noticeable by oneself or those that are around often.  Most adults can take notice of their obsessions and compulsions, however, children tend to overlook these traits.  There are typical characteristics that people with OCD tend to have in common.  A lot of people have their routines and thoughts that occur on a daily basis; however, it’s not considered OCD unless it interferes with your daily life, for example, constantly being late to work, interruption of thoughts, or causing distress.  Because some people only experience one of the two, we’ve classified the symptoms based on obsessions and compulsives.

Typical Obsessions Symptoms:


  • Fear of dirt, germs or contamination from several sources like people or certain places
  • Fearful thoughts of causing harm to yourself or others
  • The need to have certain things in order or symmetry
  • Concerned with making a mistake or excessive doubt
  • Unwanted thoughts of evil, aggression, dying, sexual entities or thoughts that go against one’s morals
  • Superstitions or excessive attention to things that are considered lucky and unlucky
  • Fear of losing possessions
  • Socially awkward or easily embarrassed


Typical Compulsives Symptoms:


  • Obsessive hand washing, showering, brushing of the teeth or other hygiene practices
  • Avoiding the touch of certain objects and people
  • The need to perform things a certain amount of times
  • Constantly checking over things such as the stove, locked doors,
  • Repetitive behavioral routines or rituals unique to the person such as repeating certain phrases, counting patterns, thinking out loud, eating a certain way, switching things on and off etc.
  • Performing a specific ritual or routine that makes you feel like it’s preventing something or undoing an action.  Some people perform certain rituals before going to sleep
  • Envisioning certain images or thoughts that may interfere with sleep
  • Rearranging things in a particular order
  • Keeping a collection of items with no real value
  • Praying out loud or excessively
  • Excessive doubts
What Causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What Causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

The cause for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is unknown.  The disorder has been linked to several theories, however, there are no substantial facts that are directly related to the disorder's presence. OCD has been linked to biological and environmental factors, in addition to genetics playing a role.  All mental or anxiety disorders like OCD require a specific amount of evaluation.

  • Dissimilar neurotransmitters (the nerve cells that operate as a chemical messenger for the brain and the body, appears to be different for those who have OCD)
  • Genetics (the theory that one’s tendency to experience anxiety or OCD could be hereditary)
  • Mutation within gene
  • Environmental factors such as infections or change of environments
  • Chemical imbalance
  • Psychological issues (death in family, illness, traumatic life event, changes in living situation, school or work)
  • Certain brain structure (scientist has linked an issue within the pathways of the brain that processes planning and judgment with another area that filters messages connected to body movement)

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • There are several natural remedies and behavioral therapies that can help people with OCD.  One of the popular therapy treatments is called Exposure and Response Prevention.  This type of therapy involves exposing the person to the obsession or fear that triggers anxiety, and then help them refrain from doing their usual compulsive behavior that would normally bring them relief.  This form of therapy helps them learn that they don’t have to perform a routine or ritual to deal with the obsession.  It helps the person know that he/she is in control and that there are other ways to deal with the anxiety. 
  • Another form of therapy that helps remedy OCD is the Cognitive Therapy approach.  This requires people to focus on the thoughts that give them anxiety, emphasizing on the amount of responsibility they feel when it occurs.  This process helps teach the person a healthy way of responding, without resorting to compulsive behavior.  The person eventually learns how to tame unwanted thoughts, focusing their attention on alleviating the anxiety.
  • Preparing for the compulsion urge is an unconventional approach to OCD, but it allows the person to take it one step at time.  When you find yourself doing the routine or ritual that relieves the anxiety, it helps if you say out loud that it’s done.  A great example is when people obsess over locked doors.  If the person says, “The door is locked, I saw myself lock it”, he/she can find relief by reminding his/herself that it has already been done.  By taking a mental note or mental picture of the routine being performed, people remind themselves that the task is done and that it is just an obsessive thought.  It helps recondition the mind to break the routine.
  • Refocusing attention to something else is always a great way to help the anxiety that one experiences, especially those with OCD.  It’s best to do an activity that distracts the mind from the obsession, thought, or fear for at least fifteen minutes.  Activities like exercising, listening to music, playing a game, calling someone on the phone, or anything that redirects the attention elsewhere can help.  This kind of regimen helps delay the response of performing the compulsive routines and rituals.  At times it can be successful, helping the person postpone or forget to do his/her normal routine.  If the urge to perform the ritual is still present, it’s usually not as intense.  Repeating the regimen can help one surpass the compulsiveness.
  • Avoid caffeine, processed foods, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, and any unnatural substances.  These kinds of foods and substances tend to stimulate anxiety and often combat the ability to handle the situation at hand.
  • Expressing obsessions, thoughts, and fears out loud can help bring awareness to the issue of OCD.  It brings a level of consciousness, helping to understand that the obsessions and compulsions are not logical.  Writing thoughts down on paper, a computer, or even recording one's voice brings attention to how repetitive the thoughts are and can help lessen the power of the obsession.  Expressing oneself out loud also helps keep record of what he/she is thinking and how he/she feels when the thoughts consume the mind.  Playing it back or reading how one felt helps confront OCD.
  • Make sleeping a priority.  Not getting enough rest can trigger negative brain activity.  A healthy sleeping pattern can help alleviate anxious thoughts.  Sleeping helps level the body out, providing it with the energy it needs for everyday life encounters.
  • Meditation is a useful approach to help with the conditions of anxiety or having obsessive thoughts.  Sitting in silence in a certain position, eliminating negative thoughts, and incorporating breathing exercises helps to bring tranquility and relaxation.  Meditation helps reduce the amount of thoughts, giving the brain the break it needs.


Things you should eat
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Dark Leafy Green Vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens)
  • Tomatoes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Walnuts
  • Bell Peppers
  • Squash
  • Coconut Water
  • Peppermint tea
  • Ginger
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
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