Living With: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
One in 50 Americans has a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) according to BBC Health statistics. While many feel alone or isolated from their friends and families, there is actually a lot of support available for those living with the condition and for those helping a family member with OCD. Knowledge of OCD is one of the main keys to dealing with this mental illness, and it is the quickest way to a better quality of life. Anyone who has obsessive doubts or worries that seriously interfere with the quality of his or her life may be diagnosed with OCD. While OCD is technically a brain disorder, it is usually considered to be a mental illness. Many people describe it as a mental hiccup because they find that their brains get fixated on a single event, such as hand-washing, and won’t let go, so they repeat the event over and over again.
Many family members of OCD patients have their own questions and worries: When does this illness start? Is it inherited? What can I do? While talking to the doctor can help you understand OCD and what you can do to help, here are some basic answers to those questions.
OCD generally appears before the age of 40, and typically in childhood. According to the OCD Center, studies show that it may take 17 years for someone with OCD to get the correct diagnosis.
Research does not suggest that OCD is inherited; however, there are some genes that may play a part in its development. Children of parents with OCD have a slightly higher risk of developing the illness. Researchers do not know whether that increased risk is a genetic inheritance or comes from the children watching and emulating their parents.
People with OCD need to be handled with patience and understanding. They need you to support them and treat them the same way you do everyone else. Give them independence, a shoulder to cry on when needed, and listen when they need to vent.
Living With: OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). (n.d.), from http://www.psychguides.com/guides/living-with-ocd-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/