Classic OCD is characterized by recurrent thoughts, impulses and images that may be violent or inappropriate. These are referred to as obsessions. Compulsions are the behaviors that people with OCD engage in to try and neutralize and deal with their obsessions. Here are some unusual conditions that are linked to OCD.
OCD and Scrupulosity
Scrupulosity refers to obsessive compulsive behavior that centers around religious and ethical issues. People that suffer from this form of OCD torment themselves with religious rituals, obsessions and doubts. It is not confined to any one religion and the obsessive thoughts often concern blasphemy against God. The person may also fear that they have not prayed enough or performed enough religious rituals. Compulsions may include excessive praying, repeated confession of sins to religious leaders, and strict self-imposed rules about the way they dress and behave.
OCD and Hoarding
Some people hoard all sorts of apparently worthless items. These commonly include newspapers, magazines, margarine tubs, plastic bags and old appliances. OCD hoarders fear that if they throw these items away, they will suddenly have a need for them or something bad will happen to them. Hoarding can become a major problem with the person’s home literally full of worthless clutter.
Hoarders tend to be deep thinkers who find it hard to make decisions. This is part of the reason why they collect what is basically rubbish. They also tend to be perfectionists and have a great fear of throwing away something that is valuable.
OCD and Hypochondria
Hypochondriacs are often dismissed as people who suffer from imaginary illnesses and waste doctors’ time. It is not widely known that hypochondria may be a disease-based variant of OCD. In these cases, inner anxiety manifests as a physical feeling and the person may genuinely feel unwell.
Some people with OCD hypochondria have specific fears about one condition or illness. This is typically something serious such as cancer or AIDS. Others worry about a whole array of sicknesses, and minor symptoms are exaggerated into serious signs of illness.
Treatment of OCD
There is help available for people with OCD and treatment usually involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Medication may be used to reduce anxiety levels while the CBT takes effect. While OCD may not be totally eliminated, it can be reduced to manageable levels that allow the person to live a happy life.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder– Help for Children and Adolescents, Mitzi Waltz, O’Reilly and Associates, 2000