OCD also known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a disorder in which people feel the irresistible requirement for doing certain activities. It features a pattern of undesirable thoughts and fears that causes monotonous behaviors. It can cause obsessions and compulsions which can interfere with someone’s regular actions and may lead to high levels of stress. It is an ordinary disorder affecting nearly 2% people globally, with nearly 50% people being undiagnosed.
The chances of being affected by OCD are mainly during teenage or young age but it may also affect a child. People going through it have uncontrollable behavior which you can’t either stop easily nor ignore it. But it is often misunderstood with various myths and misbeliefs around it.
Here we are going to bust down some common myths related to this disorder –
1. OCD affects mentally “weak” people.
It is a psychiatric disorder and such disorders are never the patient’s mistake. OCD is not a sign of mental weakness, no one suffers through it because he was “weak”. These disorders are not too much different from physical disorders like diabetes. In reality, factors like family history, genes and circumstances around the person plays an important role in chances of an individual getting through conditions like OCD.
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder mainly affects Western country people.
Many people think OCD is found only in Western countries. But it is a fact that the most well-developed countries have more developed machines to spot the symptoms and are also well equipped to correctly diagnose it. Since there are a number of factors, such as brain abnormalities, genetics and environment, there are differences in the OCD incident-rate across regions.
3. One can overcome OCD with ‘willpower’.
Although will power is an integral component, it cannot help a person overcome Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on its own. Some recommended medications are also needed to control it, as it is done in the case of diseases like hypertension and diabetes. Willpower together with medications and therapy are important parts to control OCD.
4. OCD is neither curable or treatable.
There is no treatment for OCD, yet there are several potential treatments. Approval of the diagnosis is the first step, like it is in other numerous disorders. First line of treatment includes medications of the antidepressant class. It generally requires 6-12 weeks to mitigate the symptoms. Exposure and response prevention and cognitive behavioral therapy are some psychotherapies that are also used cooperatively.