Thoughts are powerful entities that hold the potential to change the world. A positive thought can ignite the flames of hope in the darkest heart. On the other hand, a negative thought can destroy the peace of mind. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier and simpler.” Clearly, he was talking about the impact negative thoughts can have on an individual.
American singer-songwriter Lady Gaga while explaining her tryst with darkness quoted, “The darkness, the loop of negative thoughts on repeat, clamours and interferes with the music I hear in my head.” Imagine getting caught up in an endless cycle of negative thoughts from which there is no escaping? Imagine having a compulsive urge to perform any action like checking if your door is locked or counting a certain number of times before stepping outside the house.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental ailment in which a pattern of unreasonable thoughts and obsessions lead to repetitive behaviour such that they interfere with daily lives.
While common people and celebrities alike have gradually opened up about mental illnesses like anxiety disorder and depression, OCD is fairly common. And many Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities have admitted having compulsive habits. The list includes Baywatch actress Priyanka Chopra, singer-actor Farhan Akhtar, Sunny Leone, Vicky Donor actor Ayushmann Khuranna, Titanic actor and philanthropist Leonardo DiCaprio, Hollywood actress Charlize Theron and football star David Beckham among others.
“I’ll go into a hotel room and before I can relax, I have to move all the leaflets and all the books and put them in a drawer,” Beckham shared in an interview with ITV1.
“I have a problem with cabinets being messy and people just shoving things in cabinets and closing the door,” Charlize Theron shared in an interview with the Daily Mail. “I will literally lie in bed and not be able to sleep because I’ll be like, ‘I think I saw something in that cabinet that just shouldn’t be there,” she added.
Farhan Akhtar too admitted having OCD in the season 4 of Koffee with Karan. “I have a certain issue with, like, lint and things being out of place. I find it very difficult to think in situations like that because my mind keeps going to that one thing that should not be there,” he shared while speaking with the host.
So, what is OCD?
OCD is a mental ailment in which a person gets excessive distressing thoughts which cannot be controlled. The anxiety due to these thoughts leads to obsessive actions or ‘rituals’ that need to be performed a certain number of times. These rituals help in temporarily alleviating the anxiety. Sometimes, these rituals can take hours to perform.
What are its symptoms?
An individual can have obsessions and compulsions like washing, cleaning, counting, and orderliness. These symptoms usually begin in teenage and vary in severity throughout the life.
How can it be treated?
OCD can be treated with a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and medication such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotic drugs.
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