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Overcoming OCD (Through Informed Intervention - Part 2

Part 2

I am a big fan of Grey’s Anatomy. In season 10 episode 8 of the series, one of the iconic characters of the show Dr. Miranda Bailey is shown developing signs of OCD after she loses three of her patients to MRSA. Dr. Bailey was the source of the contamination. She becomes paranoid and starts putting on double sets of surgical gloves. Her character is shown to struggle with it in the later seasons too though she has accepted it as a part of her identity and opens up to therapy.

Possible Triggers of OCD:

The probable triggers of OCD are environmental factors such as life events, mental or physical trauma, brain chemical imbalances, anomalies or abnormalities, and at times certain people are genetically predisposed (Mahjani, et al., 2022). [1] OCD is at times observed as clustering in families (Mataix-Cols, et al., 2013). It shows its signs from childhood and manifests completely in adulthood. Dr. Bailey’s case above is an example of environmental changes.

If you observe any OCD symptoms checklist, you will find a pattern. The questions on obsessions are consistent with a few specific areas.

  1. Dirt and Contamination

  2. Unfounded Fears, Repetitive Behavior

  3. Unwanted/ Inappropriate Sexual Content

  4. Any form of Aggressive Content

  5. Religious Thoughts, Concerned with Morality

  6. Preoccupation with Food and Body Image

  7. Hoarding Unwanted Items

Items 1, 2, and 6 are outcomes of environmental changes. You might have had some life-altering events such as a disease contracted from germs around you, suffering trauma, or being body-shamed in school.

Items 3, 4, and 5 are linked to brain anomalies, abnormalities, or genetic predisposition. Serotonin plays an important role in OCD. Since this neurotransmitter carries messages in the brain, it has been found that improving serotonin levels can improve the condition of some OCD patients.

Left on its own, an individual with OCD might develop depression, find it difficult to live their normal and hold onto jobs. If you have OCD, your quality of life can be sustained through timely intervention. You can continue to live well with your condition. Whatever may be the triggers, OCD can be debilitating unless identified and treated regularly. The need for symmetry around us or orderliness can be coped with using the right kind of treatment by a therapist. The more acute forms can be moderated by prescription drugs.

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, begin by screening. You might want to try this Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) screening test or this one to determine if you need to see a professional.


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