What Causes OCD To Get Worse

Obsessive-compulsive disorder traps the person in a never-ending cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Sometimes these obsessions can become worse, which can impact the person’s life tremendously. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors are very time-consuming. As the person gets caught in the repetitive trap, their day-to-day activities and responsibilities get affected.

To prevent OCD from getting worse, one must identify the triggers that might be the factors that contribute to its worsening. The triggers must be managed, and the condition must be addressed.

According to the research conducted by the National Institute of mental health, most people who have OCD might be struggling with some type of mental health condition. If the condition is left untreated, the person may suffer due to extreme anxiety and distress because of the intensification of obsessions.

Factors and symptoms that worsen OCD are:

  • Anxiety disorders

The person develops obsessions, which give rise to thoughts and fears in their mind. To relieve their obsessive thoughts, they engage in compulsive behaviors. If they try to avoid obsessions and do not take any action to ease them, their anxiety levels peak. Those already suffering from anxiety disorders may experience the worst symptoms of OCD.  

  • Impulse control disorders

People with this disorder are more prone to the worst symptoms of OCD. In general, those having an Impulse-control disorder fail to resist an impulse that can be self-harming or harmful to others. They feel tempted to respond to some impulse. After acting, they might feel relieved and satisfied. Those having this disorder can experience severe forms of OCD.

  • Social anxiety disorders

Also known as social phobia, is a condition that can make the person feel anxious and uncomfortable in social situations. Moreover, They might even feel embarrassed, self-conscious, and anxious to engage in social interactions, which is why they might avoid attending social gatherings. In case they have OCD, they might experience it intensely.

  • Mood disorders

Those who have mood disorders experience extreme mood swings and changes in their behavior. The person living with mood disorders and OCD at the same time fails to manage their obsessions and repetitive behaviors, which can exacerbate.

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

According to the Healthline website, ADHD and OCD both share some overlapping symptoms. Individuals with ADHD tend to be inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. Moreover, They can easily develop the symptoms of OCD. ADHD and OCD can co-exist in an individual.  

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)

Moreover, Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sorrow and misery. Such individuals may isolate themselves and avoid social interactions. They may lose interest in things or activities they once used to enjoy. MDD can lead to difficulties in concentration, loss of appetite, lack of energy, insomnia or excessive sleeping, and suicidal thoughts. Such individuals are very likely to develop OCD.

  • Substance abuse disorders

Persistent use and abuse of drugs, illegal substances, alcohol, and certain medications can lead to this disorder. Moreover, It can potentiate the risk of other mental illnesses like OCD and several others.    

Ways to prevent OCD from getting worse

OCD can be managed with the help of treatment. Treatment involves medications and therapy sessions with the psychotherapist. Moreover, The preventative measures might vary depending on the severity of your condition. They are as follows:  

  • Therapy sessions

Exposure-response therapy (ERP) is extremely effective in identifying the root cause of obsessions and managing them successfully. Moreover, It can be beneficial from mild to severe stages, which means all stages. The mental health professional may understand and get to know your symptoms and triggers through talk sessions. Moreover, They will expose you to the exact cause of your OCD. This could cause you to resist or hesitate, but that is how you will be able to overcome your obsessions.

  • Medications

The mental health professional will prescribe you certain psychiatric medications such as antidepressants, which will help you in managing obsessions.

  • Managing stress

Moreover, Stress management is your job. You must try engaging in some fun activities that shift your focus to something exciting. Do something that you love, it can be anything such as gardening, meditation, going out, painting, reading, etc. Staying stuck with stressful thoughts and worries will worsen the symptoms.

  • Avoid resistance

Moreover, If the obsessions and thoughts come too heavy, do not resist them. Doing so can increase your anxiety, so, let them come and once you get relieved, engage yourself in some mind-diverting activity. 

  • Self-acceptance

Nonacceptance of the condition can lead to isolation and low self-esteem. Moreover, This can have a detrimental impact on the mind. The first step towards prevention is to accept yourself and understand your triggers, which will help you in coping with the symptoms in a more effective manner.   

  • Avoid seeking reassurance

Seeking assurance can get you stuck in a loop of another obsessive and compulsive behavior. Moreover, Your mind will try to create scenarios that can increase your distress and push you to seek reassurance. But you must calm your mind and remind yourself that everything is fine and stop overthinking.

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