8 Natural Remedies for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
What is OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.
People with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both. These symptoms can interfere with all aspects of life, such as work, school, and personal relationships.
Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Common symptoms include:
- Fear of germs or contamination
- Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, and harm
- Aggressive thoughts towards others or self
- Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought. Common compulsions include:
- Excessive cleaning and/or hand washing
- Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way
- Repeatedly checking on things, such as repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked or that the oven is off
- Compulsive counting
Not all rituals or habits are compulsions. Everyone double checks things sometimes. But a person with OCD generally:
- Can't control his or her thoughts or behaviors, even when those thoughts or behaviors are recognized as excessive
- Spends at least 1 hour a day on these thoughts or behaviors
- Doesn’t get pleasure when performing the behaviors or rituals, but may feel brief relief from the anxiety the thoughts cause
- Experiences significant problems in their daily life due to these thoughts or behaviors
Some individuals with OCD also have a tic disorder. Motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements, such as eye blinking and other eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Common vocal tics include repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.
Symptoms may come and go, ease over time, or worsen. People with OCD may try to help themselves by avoiding situations that trigger their obsessions, or they may use alcohol or drugs to calm themselves. Although most adults with OCD recognize that what they are doing doesn’t make sense, some adults and most children may not realize that their behaviour is out of the ordinary. Parents or teachers typically recognize OCD symptoms in children.
If you think you have OCD, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. If left untreated, OCD can interfere in all aspects of life.
Genetics - OCD appears to run in families.
Brain Structure and Functioning - Imaging studies have shown differences in the frontal cortex and sub cortical structures of the brain in patients with OCD. There appears to be a connection between the OCD symptoms and abnormalities in certain areas of the brain, but that connection is not clear. Research is still underway. Understanding the causes will help determine specific, personalized treatments to treat OCD.
Experiences/Environment - People who have experienced abuse (physical or sexual) in childhood or other trauma are at an increased risk for developing OCD.
The only thing more important than eating healthy food is eating it regularly. When you're hungry, your blood sugar drops. This can make you cranky or tired . Start with a daily breakfast , and try to eat small meals more often instead of big meals at lunch and dinner.
1. Nuts and seeds, which are packed with healthy nutrients
2. Protein like eggs, beans, and meat, which fuel you up slowly to keep you in better balance
3. Complex carbs like fruits, veggies, and whole grain, which help keep your blood sugar levels steady
4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - CBT is one of the leading therapeutic techniques used to treat OCD.
5. Reducing Anxiety
6. Regular Exercise
7. Getting Enough Rest/Sleep
Did You Know?
Does OCD come and Go?
Stress can make OCD worse. Although most people with OCD report that the symptoms can come and go on their own. In many children with OCD, these disruptive behaviors are related to the OCD and will go away when the OCD is successfully treated.