In a disordered world where many things are out of our direct control, it can be quite difficult to have a disease that makes you feel out of control of your own personal environment. We have seen in movies how OCD is portrayed, often as some cute “disorder” where the only thing we see is that the sufferer is constantly watching their hands or flipping the light switch on and off repeatedly. However, OCD is so much more than that.
Sometimes, incredibly detailed people like to see their books arranged neatly with all the square corners aligned, some even make sure that all the doors and windows are closed (including the drawers) before they lay their heads to sleep. In a way, this may be an obsessive compulsion. But is it OCD?
A lot of people have misdiagnosed themselves even before getting a doctor’s opinion. Most mental illnesses indeed have no cure but they do have treatment methods that have proven to work. This article will shine more light on OCD as a disease, symptoms, treatment methods, and how CBD can help.
What is OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as its name implies, is a mental disorder that causes one to engage in repetitive, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts (obsession) and an urge to quell those discomforts (compulsion). These compulsions can be quite illogical but, in a way, it helps the sufferer find relief.
Not all obsessions are OCD. Individuals without OCD also obsess about one thing or another - the difference is that it is momentary. For instance, a student realised they made a grammatical error on their essay after they had submitted it. Someone without OCD may think about it and worry for a time and then move on. But individuals suffering from OCD will continue to worry (anxiety) until their brain finds a way of making them less worrisome (compulsion).
OCD is a profoundly serious medical condition that affects people of different ages. Although most adults suffering from OCD have reported it starting when they were young. One characteristic of OCD is that it tends to cause significant distress and disruption in the daily life of its sufferer.
How do I know I have OCD?
To effectively identify OCD, there has to be a presence of obsession and / or compulsion. In some cases, people have either of the two and some have both obsession and compulsion. Let’s look at some of the general manifestations and signs of OCD.
Some people suffering from OCD may have an irresistible urge to clean anything and everything in their immediate surroundings. Sometimes, even repeatedly. This is usually a result of feeling that everything is contaminated.
This needless urge to check and re-check things may emanate as a result of obsessive thought that one might be in danger. Sufferers may check locks, alarm systems, light switches, all electrical devices others may even obsess over health conditions such as pregnancy, cancer, and diabetes.
This is by far the most common category. People in this category tend to make sure that everything is lined up in a certain way. If not, it may make them feel quite uncomfortable and panicky.
This category may suffer from intrusive sexual, violent, or blasphemous thoughts. These thoughts cannot be controlled. Usually suffers may compulsively count, pray or chant to quell these thoughts.
Other signs may include;
- Spending a proportion of the day obsessing over a thought
- Have a tic disorder- sudden repetitive movements
- Seeking approval or reassurance repeatedly
- The need to hide or hoard things
It is important to note that people suffering from this disease do not enjoy them. They are being compelled to do what they do and if they try to stop, it’s like taking your foot off the brakes at the sight of an oncoming truck.
Causes of OCD
Like many other mental illnesses occurring in the brain, the causes of OCD are quite unknown. However, there are some theories about possible causes:
If you have a history of OCD in your family, you are more likely to have the disease. Scientists have gathered that genes do play an important role in the cause of the disease.
Studies have shown that environmental factors have contributed to some cases of OCD, or have worsened it.
Is OCD related to Addiction?
This may seem absurd to some people but OCD has some similarities with addiction. This does not imply either should be treated as the same but some sufferers of OCD have certainly asked this question. The answer is that they are quite similar in some aspects.
What do individuals suffering from addiction and OCD crave? Relief. In the case of OCD the sufferer is carrying out these irrational rituals all to quell the anxiety while in addiction, the individual is plagued with the desire to engage in something with the expectation of the pleasure they may get.
While this point may be arguable, experts need to test this theory in order to find scientific answers that may lead to the permanent treatment of if not both, but one of the illnesses.
Can CBD help in the Treatment of OCD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an emerging natural therapeutic medication that has been proven to work in many maladies and diseases. The non-psychoactive and reduced side effect properties of CBD have allowed this drug to go further than its sister compound THC. CBD is famed for its calming effect in epileptic cases, migraines and headaches. Nevertheless, can CBD be useful in the treatment of OCD?
Scientific research published in October 2013 was used to test the effect of CBD on rats injected with meta-Chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP), a compound that presents CBD-like symptoms in mammals. The result showed that after CBD was administered to the rats, the rat’s behaviour settled nearly immediately.
Though, this experiment is yet to be confirmed in humans, the result of this compound is quite exciting including what more it could do if further research was to be carried out. Presently, evidence and testimonies from sufferers prove that CBD may be quite beneficial for people suffering from anxiety-related disorders.
OCD is a very inconvenient mental condition that people battle with every waking moment. It is time and energy-consuming and no part of it is plesant for the sufferer. It can be a relief to find alternative natural therapeutics such as CBD to help ease the anxieties of sufferers.
However, it is important to seek the advice of a medical practitioner to ascertain whether to use, when and in what dosage it should be used.