In 2012, the fifth edition of the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ of the American Psychiatric Association published Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD, as a disease independent of anxiety disorders , something never seen before because it had always been included in this type of disorder. Since then, OCD has been generally taken, outside the professional sphere and by the common population, as an exacerbated exaggeration of some mania or as a minor problem .
The reality is quite far from the appreciation that is usually had about the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder since this can reach the point of generating disability to those who suffer from it. It is important, in order to raise awareness and understand those who suffer from it, to know this disorder and the differences that exist about it with respect to other disorders , behaviors or obsessive attitudes. In this article, Bekia explains the main differences between having a mania or suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder .
Over the past few years, OCD has become quite a popular term and frequently used humorously in dozens of series and movies. Any habit seen from the outside and that was a bit out of the ordinary was already called by the name of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.. Within this aspect it is important to emphasize that a specific habit repeated only by one person in a hundred to establish order does not make this mania a disorder. For example, if a person crosses his fingers whenever he passes under a scaffold, either out of habit or superstition, or if another has an exaggerated sense of order or washes his hands every time he touches a public item, this does not It will mean that they suffer from some type of disorder because the way in which they deal with these manias will depend on it .
Attitude, repetition and ability to stop
These three factors are what really differentiate a simple mania from OCD. Right from the start, you have to know that many habits, although they are well seen by society because many people around the world have them, can end up leading to obsessive-compulsive disorder, but this does not mean that all manias mean suffering from a problem of such caliber.
A mania can be that a person repeats something several times throughout the day or that always, given a certain situation, must do something. These types of acts are seen by others as something typical of an eccentric and strange person, but if that habit does not become a more frequent habit and does not affect the person’s daily life , there is no reason to call it OCD because it isn’t. Manias are easy to avoid for the person who has them, even if it generates a certain degree of discomfort.
In people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, having to avoid a ritual to which they have become accustomed is a total suffering. While a mania has the ability to curb that urge, a person with OCD will not be able to stop it without causing great anxiety and stress. To be better understood, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder includes rituals or habits whose performance becomes obsessive and compulsive.
The obsession of people with OCD is characterized by the set of thoughts that are repeated, unwantedly, with a high frequency and whose simple fact of ignoring them leads to great anxiety . On the other hand, compulsions , also typical of OCD, are behaviors or thoughts that have to be repeated as many times as necessary for the person’s obsessions to disappear and the person can be relieved thanks to the resulting order.
Obsession generates behaviors that help reduce the discomfort that the person feels and, although this feels like that, the truth is that they are totally exaggerated acts with no justification that, although they share similarity with manias, they have nothing to do with it. If the person is obsessed and tries by all means to repeat a behavior compulsively until they can calm down , then it is possible that they have OCD.
How is OCD distinguished?
The hobbies or customs of many people throughout the world are acts or behaviors that do not usually take a long time during the development of their day. For example, checking if the door to the street has been closed properly, having a high sense of order, washing your hands several times a day or crossing your fingers every time you go under a scaffold will not be rituals typical of a Disorder. Obsessive-Compulsive because they will not take, in total, more than 15 minutes a day to perform. However, if the mania occupies more than an hour during an entire active day, then it may be OCD.
It will also be more than just a mania if, by avoiding some habit, one suddenly feels unbearable anxiety or stress, sweating and / or nervousness . For those with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, trying to ignore a compulsive behavior causes enormous suffering that significantly affects their routine and daily life. It is important to pay attention to whether these types of rituals condition a person’s day-to-day activities , either within their personal circle or within the workplace, since doing so will mean that they have all the ballots to receive a diagnosis of TOC.
Another important aspect to take into account is that all the possible symptoms of someone with this disorder have to be repeated even when the person in question is not under the influence of any medication or drug . This means that OCD will not be considered when someone has obsessive habits or behaviors since, probably, that behavior is due to the effects of some harmful or external substance.
Having OCD does not always go in isolation as it is quite common to diagnose this disorder along with other serious illnesses, such as depression . Treating the subject of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder seriously is important so that these types of cases do not go unnoticed and so that people who really suffer from it can be treated and helped by professionals .