Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common chronic disorder characterized by involuntary, uncontrollable, recurring thoughts (obsessions) that can lead people to engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These rituals interfere with the life of those who suffer from them, but the person cannot control or stop them and they can cause significant emotional suffering.
But how (why) does this disorder arise? “As with almost all psychiatric disorders, the genesis must be sought in biological, psychological and environmental alterations. In the case of OCD, there is numerous biological evidence on the role that some brain circuits have in mediating the disorder – explains the psychiatrist and psychotherapist Giancarlo Cerveri -. They are circuits that have essential functions in the inhibition of responses and suppression of negative emotions. The hypothesis of some researchers is that obsessive-compulsive disorder causes the continuous control activity that our brain carries out on everything we do to become conscious and therefore paralyzing.
These are the behaviors that may indicate that you have OCD.
This obsession has its origin in the tendency to mentally repeat cognitive patterns related to behaviors to follow in relation to specific actions (an exam, a job interview, an encounter with a person we are attracted to). This is a way to reduce the tension associated with the event and, at the same time, improve reading of the surrounding world and the ability to provide efficient behavioral responses.
Therefore, for those who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), even a simple contact with the handle of a public bathroom is enough to trigger a series of uncontrolled thoughts that, in this specific case, have their roots in such an irrational fear of germs that push the individual to wash their hands up to 50 times a day for fear of contamination.