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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) interferes with and disrupts daily functioning. OCD manifests in very unpleasant thoughts that can also include violence, thoughts that one has hurt others, or frightening thoughts that evoke a sense of fear and anxiety.
These thoughts do not disappear by themselves but accompany the patient throughout the day in an annoying and excessive way. They cause great suffering which causes the patient to do everything to avoid the same thought, which leads to compulsive behavior aimed at getting some relief and lowering the threshold of thoughts.
Compulsive behavior can manifest itself in various ways including re-examining processes, re-counting, multiple hand and body washes, endless repeated prayers, repetition of words, compulsive speech on a particular topic, and more. All these things have the goal to have a feeling of relief that usually comes only shortly and transiently and so the process repeats itself again.
Treatment usually includes medication by antidepressants combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy that includes exposure therapy. This also often requires antipsychotic medication, depending on the patient’s condition.
PTSD leads to a significant change in the quality of life of different people and to situations and symptoms varying from person to person. Among other things, people with PTSD will suffer from harsh dreams and nightmares, flashbacks, high anxiety thresholds and anxiety attacks, unstable moods, difficulty sleeping, panic and fear, and avoiding various social and personal situations that may recreate the trauma.
The symptoms appear in different intensities and are characterized by all domains of a person’s life, from relationships and contacts to people to integration into work and a normative life, depending on age and condition. The patient’s quality of life is impaired at the moment of the trauma and his life changes from end to end.
PTSD treatment is complex. We will start treatment after diagnosing the disorder, if the symptoms recur for more than a month and persist. The treatment usually combines medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy and even exposure therapy, depending on the patient’s condition.
Additionally, there are many complementary therapies today helping patients with PTSD cope with their day-to-day lives.
An important part of treating PTSD is the involvement of family and friends who serve as a support framework and can be taught to identify triggers and warning signs, and thus help the patient receive the treatment and feel good.
Among the symptoms characterizing the disorder, one may find hallucinations and intrusive thoughts, extreme moods quickly ranging from one extreme to another – from a low mood to an overly uplifting and happy mood. In addition, the way of thinking can change and lead the patient to dangerous situations in which they do act in a manner endangering them and those around them.
The disorder is also characterized by incoherent speech, moving from topic to topic in conversation, obsession with a particular topic, depression, and deep sadness or excessive joy. The behavior is usually irrational.
Sometimes, the disorder appears after extreme situations in life, for example a very severe condition of postpartum depression, coping with loss and more. In other cases, the causes may not be known, but studies show that there is also a hereditary element in patients with the disease.
The treating psychiatrist will personally diagnose each patient and provide necessary medications, which may help stabilize moods and deal with depressive and manic periods that sometimes come separately and sometimes simultaneously. Sometimes, the psychiatrist will also recommend antidepressant medication.
Along with the recommended psychiatric treatment through medication, there are various complementary therapies that make life easier for the patient and help him cope with the daily situations they encounter and with the different periods in life.
A patient with a psychoactive disorder requires support from family members, who will also help with treatment to identify mood swings and deal with periods when behavior and mood become difficult and extreme. Therefore, counseling with a therapist is also very important for family members, who are supposed to know the various signs and understand the meaning of the disorder in depth. When a patient has a supportive framework that recognizes the problem, does not judge it and aids in treatment, it can live a better quality life.