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Myths аnd Misconceptions аbout OCD

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Peck
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Reading Time: 5 minutes

OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is a mental health problem commonly conceptualized and labeled with limited symptoms. Some people often refer to it as “we all are somewhat OCD.”

But in reality, just being always tidy and high-maintenance is not about being OCD. Every 1 in 100 adults in the U.S suffers from this mental health condition.

Maybe some of you would have learned about this mental state through electronic media, a movie, or a Tv show but you have to be a lot more knowledgeable about it if you have to talk about it in reality.

Biggest misconceptions about OCD:

Many people just relate their over-enthusiasm for cleanness with OCD, which is wrong. It is way more complex than just being confined to a person’s compulsion towards hygiene.

Maybe you have heard people bragging about their tidiness and casually relating it to OCD. Like is it that simple, seriously?

This is the main reason a person should comprehend a term just before putting it in their conversation and claiming it to be their trait.

Common Myths & Misconceptions about OCD

Mostly what you know about OCD and its symptoms is either through insufficient portrayal through media or common discussion among colleagues.

In this article, we are confusing some commonly implied misconceptions about OCD. The purpose of this write-up is to make you aware of myths and facts related to this mental illness.

Some common myths about OCD are the following:

  • All clean freaks are OCD
  • Only women get affected by OCD
  • Stress is the main reason for OCD
  • OCD is not treatable
  • It is diagnosed with a blood test
  • OCD is the result of low self-esteem
  • It is rare in kids

It is a mental health condition not limited to cleaning or checking the order of things. But on the contrary, it presents itself in multiple ways. And affects the suffering person in every aspect of his life.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a serious mental illness that triggers anxiety and affects 1.2% population in the United States. In this condition, a suffering person often goes through anxiety-related issues such as bothering and disturbing thoughts. E.g., check door locks again and again and keep counting your belongings.

These thoughts are also called obsessions because they are extreme and frequent. That person experiences such obsessive thoughts every day.

These obsessions become a reason for that person to feel agonized, followed by repetitive patterns to make himself feel better. E.g., blinking, hoarding, exercising, or talking too much.

These patterns are known as compulsions, they help that person to get rid of the agony caused by obsessions, but that relief is temporary.

There is a connection between the patterns of obsessions and compulsions, and their symptoms are correlated in some way.

What is severe OCD like?

The levels of OCD symptoms are described as (0-7) mild or subclinical, (8-15) mild, (16-23) moderate, (24-31) severe, and (32-40) extreme.

In extreme cases, the suffering person is not even able to perform daily errands, and it somehow turns into mental impairment if left untreated.

The person is also likely to cause irreversible damage to himself regarding cleanliness or other things such as counting food calories and leading to anorexia or bulimia, hair pulling, and excessive body washing.

Some people are even hospitalized in extreme conditions when their obsessions become too much to handle by themselves and for people around them to control.

When OCD is out of control?

OCD is often considered a condition that could be controlled by the person suffering from it. But it is not always the case. Sometimes, these little obsessions become so huge under specific circumstances that the patient is unable to get rid of them.

To avoid such extreme situations, it is necessary to get diagnosed and treated timely before it is too late.

Clinical psychiatrists are everywhere to help you diagnose the symptoms of OCD and its severity and also suggest clinical treatment methods if you need any.

You must get help from a professional about your symptoms and treatment rather than self-diagnosing and self-medication.

If you have treatment-resistant OCD, your psychiatrist will suggest a suitable medication to treat you according to your symptoms.

5 common misconceptions about OCD main:

Here we will discuss some misconceptions about OCD and how they are far from reality?

  1. We are all “a little OCD”

Our brains are like small remarkable engines. But sometimes they just provide us with too much information. It keeps generating thoughts of different kinds all the time.

It depends on the people and how they react to those thoughts. Some of them are able to just brush off those irritating thoughts, while others are not. Such people are considered obsessive.

But being worried about some irritating thoughts does not mean you are an obsessive-compulsive disordered person.

Being OCD requires much more than that, such as irrational fears and anxiety related to safety or repeatedly counting your belongings. Also, constantly hovering about trivial matters sometimes irritates other people around you.

  1. It is all about cleanliness and being tidy up

Whenever people talk about OCD, germ-phobia and excessive cleaning are common stereotypes, but you cannot confine the OCD only to weird cleaning habits.

Patients with OCD show a variety of symptoms. For some people, it revolves around being religious to an extreme, while for others, it could be about being doubtful about their life partner. Sometimes, the focus of a person’s obsessions shifts from here to there over time.  

  1. It is a controllable matter and personality trait

Some people who are not aware of the gravity of OCD claim that its symptoms are controllable. A person should just calm down and relax, and the symptoms will disappear.

OCD amplifies the fears and anxieties of a person by taking over the good part of his nerves. So, it is not easy to just sit and relax, and symptoms will disappear.

It needs to be adequately treated for the patient to feel better.

  1. It is a women’s disease

It is usually misunderstood that more women suffer from OCD than men. But it is not valid. OCD can affect women and men equally regardless of gender, economic background, and age.

  1. OCD is rooted in early age

The onset of OCD is seen at all ages. It could start at 10-12, in the early twenties, or adulthood. Which means it can affect any person at any age. No age limit is specified.

It is also a misconception that kids with broken families suffer more from OCD than others, but there is no clinical evidence related to this either.

Although it sometimes runs in the genes of a family.

When should you get treated?

Researchers claim that the same dose of ketamine 0.5mg/kg as depression has proven to be effective in treating symptoms of OCD.

It is possible since it helps to combat anxiety symptoms, so it can be helpful to get rid of their intrusive and troubling thoughts and make patients feel at ease.

But its action method is very different from the first-line treatment of OCD with medications. The results may be shown after 6 to 10 weeks with the first line of treatment and only in almost 60 percent of people.

The researchers decided to work on the ketamine effects and how long does it last to treat OCD based on the results showing the role of ketamine in the pathogenesis of OCD.

Studies show that ketamine affects glutamate activity in the brain. Glutamate dysfunction in the central nervous system gives rise to anxious behavior in humans. And its overactivity may lead to depression. Ketamine as a therapy for OCD  works here as an inhibitor and regulates glutamate activity.

People who received 2 infusions within one week showed 35% improvement in OCD symptoms on the scale (Y-BOCS) after one week.

Bottom line

If you are looking for an IV therapy clinic with exceptional services to get treated for OCD, then look no further. At Nepenthe Wellness Center, you will receive a personalized treatment plan after a good consultation process.

All the staff here are highly qualified and experienced so you will not have to worry about anything. We provide specifically designed infusion therapies to satisfy our customers. You can schedule your treatment plan just like you want, as per your suitability.

References:

  • TMS & Brain Health Team. (2022, August 20). Ketamine Rapidly Reduces OCD Symptoms. TMS & Brain Health. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://www.tmsbrainhealth.com/ketamine-rapidly-reduces-ocd-symptoms/
  • How Ketamine Works – Glutamate pathway. (2018, May 7). Ketamine Treatment Center. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://arizonaketamine.com/how-it-works-glutamate-pathway/
  • Lazarevic, V. (2021, August 11). Ketamine decreases neuronally released glutamate via retrograde stimulation of presynaptic adenosine A1 receptors. Nature. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-021-01246-3?error=cookies_not_supported&code=02573753-903b-4547-87a7-fdbb0a2e85d2
  • Ketamine in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: . . . : Harvard Review of Psychiatry. (n.d.). LWW. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://journals.lww.com/hrpjournal/Abstract/2022/03000/Ketamine_in_the_Treatment_of_Obsessive_Compulsive.4.aspx
  • Benenden Error. (n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.benenden.co.uk/blocked?_event_transid=88599430
  • Hippe, H. (2021, September 9). 5 Common Myths About OCD. Nystrom & Associates. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.nystromcounseling.com/ocd/5-common-myths-about-ocd/