Control ticks: constraints that determine everyday life

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Obsessive compulsive disorder: constraints determine everyday life

Is the stove really off? The front door locked? People suffering from pathological control must constantly check such things. A normal life is impossible with such an obsessive-compulsive disorder. But such constraints are easy to treat.

Those affected are aware of the senselessness of their thoughts. Those with obsessive-compulsive disorders are regarded as people with an excessive tendency to control and strange quirks. Since they are usually afraid of being laughed at, they usually keep their problem to themselves for as long as possible and are therefore under enormous pressure for this reason alone. People with OCD suffer from obsessive and seemingly uncontrollable obsessive thoughts, which usually cause them to perform certain actions over and over again. Angelika Erhardt, senior physician at the psychiatric outpatient clinic at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich explains: “You may check 20 or 30 times whether the stove is on because you are afraid that you may have forgotten it and cause something bad . “Although they are aware of the nonsense and senselessness of these thoughts, they still fail to prevent them.

Two out of 100 people develop pathological obsessive-compulsive disorder According to the neuroscientist, around two out of 100 people develop obsessive-compulsive disorder in the course of their lives. Factors that can play a role here include an hereditary disposition, but above all also drastic life events and negative childhood experiences, such as an education characterized by pressure and high performance requirements. Controls are a common form of OCD. However, washing constraints, counting constraints, order constraints or illnesses that include several constraints are also possible. According to various press reports, Arne Schätzig (name changed) also belonged to the latter group. After a phase with washing compulsions, he developed control compulsions, which meant that he spent up to an hour a day on inspection rounds in a certain phase and therefore had to make excuses for being late. He explained part of the circumstances at the time: "I no longer believed that I had closed the car door or deactivated the Internet on my cell phone and was afraid that the costs could get out of hand." At times he could no longer work or take part in family life .

You can treat compulsions very well today. Untreated illnesses often lead to a downward spiral with increasing suffering. Prof. Ulrich Voderholzer, medical director of the Schön Klinik Roseneck, specialist clinic for mental and psychosomatic diseases, in Prien am Chiemsee said: “The important message to those affected is that constraints can be treated very well today. You are not helplessly exposed to them. ”The most promising is behavioral therapy that is specifically geared towards obsessive-compulsive illnesses, which includes a stimulus confrontation and in which those affected learn to expose themselves to the compulsive triggers without performing their compulsive rituals. Another treatment option are special psychotropic drugs, so-called serotonin reuptake inhibitors. However, according to Voderholzer, they are only a second choice: "Behavioral therapy is the more effective method." Usually, the constraints do not completely disappear, but they can often be reduced to such a small extent reduce that they no longer interfere with everyday life. The earlier the treatment begins, the better the chances of success.

Lack of qualified therapists, according to Voderholzer, however, it takes an average of six years for the diagnosis to be made. Another problem is the lack of therapists qualified for obsessive-compulsive disorder, and therefore many obsessive-compulsive disorders receive no or insufficient treatment. In addition, the diaries of specialized clinics and medical practices are often full in the long run. "Some patients are told to call again in a year because of an appointment," said Antonia Peters, CEO of the German Society for Obsessive-Compulsive Diseases. Peters, who, among other things, supports those affected with the search for a doctor with her colleagues, emphasized that patients should definitely have the courage to open up and start treatment as quickly as possible. An expert from the professional association of German neurologists also pointed out the importance of treatment a few years ago. Accordingly, the health consequences of obsessive-compulsive disorder, such as constant tremors, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, inner restlessness or heart stumbling, can only be prevented with therapeutic measures. (ad)

Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixelio

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