Obsessive-compulsive disorder - how to escape from obsessions?

December 7, 2013

 obsessive compulsive disorder
 Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition in which a person regularly have obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior is observed. For example, people who are afraid of germs may wash your hands too often, or even to take a shower every time after using the toilet.



OCD Symptoms vary in severity from mild to strongly expressed. Some patients may initiate compulsive action, in total, about an hour a day. Other R & D leads to a radical change in lifestyle.

Although OCD is manifested in different people in different ways, most of them there is one and the same pattern of thought and behavior. The scheme consists of four elements:

Obsessions - mind seizes an obsessive fear or anxiety, such as fear of robbery.

Anxiety - obsession causes severe anxiety and distress.

Compulsions - actions that are caused by the desire to suppress anxiety Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease?  Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease?
   and distress, for example, a person checks whether the closed windows and doors at least three times before you leave home.

Temporary relief. Compulsive behavior brings man temporary relief, but obsession and anxiety soon returned, and the cycle repeats again.

Obsessive thoughts. Such thoughts from time to time begin to torture of any person; for example, one might worry about the possible loss of work (even while at work everything is fine), or the suspect's wife in adultery, and someone tormented by the fear of losing documents or money to travel. Most people manage to calm down quickly, and obsessive thoughts do not begin seriously to affect their lives. Only if these ideas do not really give a person to live quietly, and provoke a certain behavior, you can suspect that he has OCD. The most common obsessions in OCD:

  • Fear deliberately hurt another person - some patients with OCD worry that might attack someone, though they usually do not have a tendency to aggressive behavior;
  • The fear of accidentally hurt yourself or another person - Patients may fear that left the iron on at home, do not turn off the gas stove, and so on, but not before leaving again check appliances;
  • Fear of infection;
  • Obsessive desire for symmetry and order - puts people mugs, so that all the knobs are in the same direction, arranges things on shelves and in cabinets in strict order, and expressed extreme dissatisfaction, if someone violates this order;
  • The fear to commit an act contrary to the religious beliefs of the individual.

Compulsive behavior. In most cases, compulsive behavior in people with OCD is irrational, but they can not stop doing the action dictated by obsessive thoughts.

Some of the common types of compulsive behavior:

  • Cleaning (several times per day, although in the home has long cleanliness);
  • Hand wash;
  • Checks - closed the doors, turned off any stove, and so on;
  • Constant questions to other people (for example, the patient may ask, whether he closed the doors and windows, shut off the iron, and so on);
  • The repetition of certain words aloud or to themselves;
  • Attempts to use neutralizing thoughts to deal with obsessive thoughts.



  • Genetics

Despite numerous studies, to determine the cause of OCD is still not possible. However, scientists believe that a role in the development of mental illness can play a genetic predisposition. Although genes that may be associated with OCD, have not yet been identified, some evidence suggests that predisposition to the disturbance can be inherited. A person whose close relative suffering from OCD, the likelihood of developing this disorder is four times higher than average.

  • Features of functioning of the brain

Increased blood flow in specific brain regions, the lack of certain chemicals and other aspects of the functioning of the brain, in the course of research have been identified in many people with OCD. It was also found that the operation returns to normal brain using cognitive behavioral therapy and receiving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

  • Serotonin

Apparently, serotonin plays a role in the development of OCD. This neurotransmitter that regulates many functions, including - memory, sleep Dreams: how to understand our dreams  Dreams: how to understand our dreams
 Mood. It is not known exactly how serotonin levels associated with OCD, however, found that people with this disorder serotonin levels below normal.

  • Traumatic events

The death of a loved one, divorce, and other difficult events in a person's life can become triggers of OCD, if he already had a predisposition to the development of this disorder. From what it was a traumatic event, may depend obsession, from which people will suffer. For example, the death of a loved sometimes causes obsessive fear of harm to others.

  • Infection

Some children and adolescents OCD develops after a severe infection caused by streptococcus. It is assumed that the antibodies Antibodies - "soldiers' immunity  Antibodies - "soldiers' immunity
 Which are generated due to the invasion of bacteria affect the activity of certain areas of the brain, which leads to the development of OCD.



If you suspect that OCD is very important to immediately consult a doctor. Depending on the severity of symptoms and possible causes of OCD, it can assign the following treatments:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is recognized as very effective in OCD. The doctor with the patient identifies situations that cause anxiety, and identifies the situations in which anxiety is the most and least powerful. Then the doctor provides the patient perform exercises by which he will be in situations close to those that cause anxiety, and it will have to abstain from compulsive behavior. Initially, such therapy may seem intimidating, but in practice it turns out to be very useful. People with mild to moderate OCD requires about 10 hours of therapy to learn well enough to cope with the symptoms of OCD. In severe OCD therapy lasts much longer.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are appointed under a reduced level of serotonin in patients with severe OCD.

Clomipramine - a tricyclic antidepressant, which is used as an alternative to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for the treatment of OCD.

If drug therapy and psychotherapy have been ineffective, the physician may prescribe a surgical operation.

Article Tags:
  • personality disorders

Sedatives - take valerian and be happy?

December 13, 2013

 Sedatives include a large group of drugs that slow down brain activity, causing relaxation and drowsiness. This group includes all known means, nonprescription, such as valerian, and small and large tranquilizers such as lepomepromazin.

Sedatives depress the central nervous system, in most cases, affect one of its major neyromediantorov - gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Neurotransmitters or neurotransmitters - are substances which carry communication between brain cells. Although various types of sedatives act in its own way, ultimately it is their ability to increase GABA activity leads to the relaxation of the person.

The higher the activity of GABA, the stronger would be a soothing effect. Since the sedatives cause drowsiness, they are encouraged to take not only with anxiety and increased excitability, and insomnia. They also take people who suffer from panic attacks and other disorders that cause uncontrollable fear.

It is believed that currently the majority of cases of abuse of drugs is connected with sedatives. Some of them addictive, therefore, as a rule, they are not recommended for a long time. If the relationship is already there, you should see a doctor.



Sedatives in one form or another have been used in ancient times. Almost every culture have been known certain plants, has a calming effect (for example, valerian, which is discussed separately). During the years of trial and error, scientists have found out exactly what the plant and in what doses to use. Some are dried and used for making tea, other prepared tinctures, lotions, and so forth. With them they were treated as anxiety and insomnia, and tried to relieve the symptoms of severe mental disorders.

We can only guess how many people are affected and how, before the doctor scientist of antiquity was able to understand at least something which parts of the plant should be used as sedatives. Be that as it may, the natural medicines discovered thousands of years ago, we use to this day, and use them to create new drugs. So, the first modern drug from a large group of tranquilizers has been obtained from the plant Rauwolfia serpentina (Rauwolfia serpentina), is in India for centuries is used for snake bites (hence the name), as well as some mental disorders. In the mid-20th century American scientists undertook a study of this plant, and soon discovered that one of its active ingredients - reserpine, can be successfully used in the treatment of high blood pressure, as well as schizophrenia and other mental illnesses Mental illness - ashamed to ask for help?  Mental illness - ashamed to ask for help?

The first synthetic small tranquilizers, and also the first to plant counterparts sedatives such as valerian or lavender The healing properties of lavender - not only pleasant aroma  The healing properties of lavender - not only pleasant aroma
 It became bromides, which began to synthesize in the 1860s. However, because of the serious side effects of these drugs have not won a special popularity. In 1903 came the first barbiruraty - they are very effectively cope with anxiety Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease?  Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease?
   and insomnia, but quickly causes dependence. In addition, an overdose of barbiturates often leads to death of patients. Fairly soon, scientists have developed formulations of the first class of benzodiazepines - they have fewer side effects, in contrast to barbiturates, they only cause dependence with extended use.


Tranquilizers big and small

Among the many sedatives are the two large groups of products: large and small tranquilizers. First used to treat severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosis. The drugs alleviate the symptoms of these diseases, although, of course, can not cure them completely. Minor tranquilizers prescribed for insomnia, anxiety disorders, panic attacks and other violations, and number. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are a group of minor tranquilizers. Almost all of tranquilizers in most countries of the world are sold by prescription, and during the course of treatment the doctor must constantly monitor the condition of the patient. This helps reduce the likelihood of addiction and other complications.


Valerian and other herbal sedatives

Valerian used as a sedative in ancient Greece. We wrote about it in his writings of Hippocrates and Galen. It was very popular in the Middle Ages when it was used for the treatment of nervous diseases, heart palpitations, tremor. Valerian is widely used today. It is found that not only does it itself has a soothing effect, but also enhances the effect of other sedatives and hypnotics. At the same time, she, like many other sedatives, reduces concentration and reduces the rate of reaction, and it is sure to keep in mind for those who accept it.

Schisandra - another natural sedative, which is sometimes called the Chinese Prozac. It has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine Traditional Chinese medicine and treatment for problem skin  Traditional Chinese medicine and treatment for problem skin
 And today capsule through the plant can be purchased in many other countries.

Lavender - a sedative, has a very soft, but stable effect. It calms aroma of this plant, so aromatherapy using lavender essential oil can be not only pleasant, but also very useful.

Red clover, strictly speaking, not a sedative. But this plant - a rich source of minerals, its active substances thin the blood and stabilize the work of many body systems. Acceptance of red clover in combination with herbal sedatives helps to achieve a deeper and more lasting effect. The only restriction: red clover can not be used by pregnant women and those who take medications, blood thinning.