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FAQ's 

Frequently Asked Questions about OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What is OCD?
How Common Is OCD?
If So Many People Have It, Why Isn't It Talked About More?
So, If I Have OCD Does That Mean That I Am Nuts?
What Causes OCD?
Can Stress Cause OCD?
What Are Common Obsessions and Compulsions?
What Are The Accompanying Symptoms Associated With A Thin Myelin?
What Are Other Health Conditions Related To OCD?
Why Can't An OCD Sufferer Control Their Behavior?
Can You Have Just Obsession or Just Compulsion?
Why Are People So Critical of This Condition?
What Are The Most Effective Treatments for OCD?
Is St. John's Wort Effective In Treating OCD?

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What is OCD?
OCD is an acronym for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Obsession is a persistent idea or feeling, often in an unwanted or excessive degree. A compulsion is an irresistible impulse to perform an act.

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How common is OCD?
According to various OCD foundations, it is listed as the 4th most common mental disorder in the USA 
Others claim that between 1 in 40 to 50 people (1 in 100 children) suffer from OCD. I believe this number is very conservative.

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If So Many People Have It, Why Isn't It Talked About More?
Many people believe that OCD is a psychological problem. There is a level of shame and fear associated with talking about these symptoms.

Often, when I tell people of my experiences with OCD and symptoms, they shed tears of relief. They are usually of normal or often of high intelligence and know their behavior is not based on logic.

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So, If I Have OCD Does That Mean That I Am Nuts?
NO, although some believe OCD is a purely psychological condition. After working with those with OCD, I believe that most often it is a biological condition which produces a psychological symptom.

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What Causes OCD?
Although common belief is that it is a genetic, I believe that you might be born with a predisposition to develop OCD. The cause of OCD is a thin myelin sheathing. To understand more, you can read my book STRESSED OUT. It is available at Amazon.com.

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Can Stress Cause OCD?
The official answer is no. However, many people tell me that their OCD began after a stressful event or time in their lives. I believe that stress can aggravate OCD.  I also believe that the myelin sheathing can be weakened by stress.

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What Are Common Obsessions and Compulsions?
Almost everyone has occasions a few times when they have FLEETING symptoms listed below, but if the symptoms linger or begin to intrude or control your life then they could indicate OCD

  • Repeatedly checking things. For example, checking if the curling iron is turned off, a door is locked, or stove is turned off, etc.
  • Excessive fear of germs or contamination, often causing the need to clean or wash your hands.
  • Counting constantly, either outwardly or in your head.
  • Arranging or organizing in an extreme orderly fashion. For example, having to put all the heads of the play money in the same direction.
  • Needing to do rituals or things a certain number of times.
  • Hoarding things often of no apparent value. For example, buttons which you will never need or broken things. Often children will hoard food.
  • Being habitually tardy or late. No matter how important, the person seems incapable of being on time.
  • The need for perfection.
  • Fear of causing harm to someone. For example, fear of running over someone with a car or fear of hurting your child.
  • Procrastination. For example, having your bills habitually late even if you have the money to pay them. Putting projects off.
  • Not being able to make a decision.
  • Excessive list making.
  • Health obsession. For example, obsessively checking yourself  for a disease.
  • Asking for reassurance over and over.
  • Eating rituals, such as avoiding a certain color, food or not letting a fork touch your lips.
  • Abnormal preoccupation with measuring food or counting calories.
  • A need for order or symmetry, such as aligning or balancing objects in view.
  • Having a hard time using something unless you have a back up. For example buying 2 of the same books, one to highlight and the other which can be new.
  • Scrupulosity - worrying excessively that a person may have done something wrong as it pertains to their religion. Such as, repenting, praying, thinking, saying something blasphemous, or worrying that they had not done a religious ritual respectfully or correctly. .
  • Preoccupation with schedules, list and rules.
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What Are The Accompanying Symptoms Associated With A Thin Myelin?
Some symptoms of a thin Myelin include:
  • Sunlight bothering your eyes
  • A problem getting to sleep
  • Needing a background noise to fall to sleep
  • A hard time remembering your dreams every day
  • Noise, commotion or people get on your nerves
  • You have to recheck things
  • You suffer from forgetfulness, seeing things out of the corner of your eye that are not there, feeling a presence, feeling overwhelmed, or having invasive thoughts.
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What Are Other Health Conditions Related To OCD?
All of the conditions are related to a thin myelin sheathing:
  • Tourettes
    Unwanted repetitive tics such as jerking muscle movements, barking, grunting, or cursing.
  • ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
    The inability to focus or keep your attention on one task.
  • Anxiety Disorder
    Excessive worry or fear, which can accompany increased heart rate, dizziness, shortness or breath, hyperventilation, heart pains, sweating or a choking sensation.
  • Agoraphobia
    Fear of open places or being around people. Often the person can not leave their home.
  • Anorexia Nervosa
    An eating disorder where you starve yourself.
  • Bi Polar - Manic Depressive
    Experiencing extremely emotional highs and lows. There is no middle ground.
  • Bulimia
    An eating disorder where you force vomiting or purging.
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Repulsion for ones looks or certain physical attribute.
  • GAD - Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Self Harm - Cutting - Self-Mutilation Behavior
    Cutting, burning or injuring yourself
  • Mild Schizophrenia
    Abnormal thinking, loss of contact with reality - usually seeing and hearing things which are not there.
  • Trichotillomania
    Pulling out your hair.
  • Panic Attacks
    Extreme anxiety which can be accompanied by an increased heart rate, dizziness, shortness of breath, hyperventilation, sweating or choking sensation.
  • Phobias
    Unrealistic fear.
  • Social Anxiety
    Strong fear of a large group of people, excessive fear of social situations, fear of being embarrassed.  It is estimated that 7% of the population suffers from this disorder
  • Social Phobia
    Strong fear of a large group of people, excessive fear of social situations, fear of being embarrassed.  This is the third most common mental disorder in the world.
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
    The myelin of the eye, brain and spinal cord becomes thin or scarred which disrupts nerve impulses and body movement.
  • Nail Biting and Skin Picking.
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Why Can't An OCD Sufferer Control Their Behavior?
They would if they could, but the anxiety of not doing their behavior is overwhelming. Imagine being told that you could not scratch an area that is extremely itchy.

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Can You Have Just Obsession or Just Compulsion?
Approximately 80% of those who have OCD have both Obsessive and Compulsive. Only 20% have only one of the conditions.

Why Are People So Critical of This Condition?
I believe it is because they can not see it. If someone breaks a leg, there is usually physical evidence like a cast. OCD has no outwardly signs. The person looks perfectly healthy and is perfectly normal except for the OCD. If someone has not experienced OCD, it would not make sense to them.

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What Are The Most Effective Treatments for OCD?
The official answer is to combine drug therapy with exposure and response prevention therapy.  However, I favor building the myelin sheathing.

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Is St. John's Wort Effective In Treating OCD?
It has been my experience that St. John's wort may help mild OCD, but not moderate to severe cases.

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