Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 866 577 Paterakis Michalis
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a complex mental health disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts and ritualistic behaviors. It disrupts daily life, causing significant discomfort. This article explores the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the role of obsessions, compulsions, and their impact on everyday life.

This disorder is characterized by obsessions, i.e. persistent thoughts, and compulsions, i.e. actions the person takes to relieve himself of the persistent thoughts that are bothersome to him. Below you can read the symptoms in detail. But these do not help to solve the problem. It is only their description. The compulsive has deep guilt and great aggression.

Guilt hides within it murderous feelings, rage, which has not been expressed. So it is translated, transformed and takes the form of symptoms that are ready to be unleashed in an aggressive way but because they are inhibited, they keep repeating. That is, he counts and re-counts the money. It calculates and recalculates. He thinks the same thing over and over again.

Not to miss anything, to check everything. Jack Nicolson in “it doesn’t get any better” is the compulsive. Who hates the world, despises women, performs a whole ritual to sleep. But he is also passive if you treat him like an adult, he becomes a child and collects himself. But it hides attack, hatred. He can’t be happy. He is the difficult one. The tight one. He has issues with authority. Anal type. He collects and collects and takes them out aggressively.

Εκεί έχει κανείς προβλήματα όταν είναι περίπου δύο ετών που αρχίζει και ελέγχει τους σφιγκτήρες, το σώμα του. Υπάρχουν θέματα αυτονομίας και ελευθερίας που δεν λύθηκαν ποτέ.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

To fully understand the complex nature of OCD, one must delve into examining its many symptoms. This manifests as a pervasive pattern of obsessions and compulsions, which the sufferer recognizes as irrational but struggles to resist. Obsessions, defined as repetitive intrusive thoughts, often cause high levels of anxiety. In contrast, compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the person feels compelled to perform in response to their obsessions.

Obsessions or compulsions in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessions are persistent and intrusive thoughts, images or impulses that cause significant distress. These are not just excessive worries about everyday life problems, but irrational fears or thoughts that seem impossible to control.

On the one hand, they cause stress and anxiety, leading to a disturbed emotional state. On the other hand, they lead to compulsive behaviors, which are the individual’s attempt to neutralize the anxiety caused by these obsessions. Consequently, it becomes trapped in a vicious cycle of obsessions and compulsions, struggling to break free.

Ideas as defined by the following:

  1. Επαναλαμβανόμενες και επίμονες σκέψεις, παρορμήσεις και εικόνες που βιώνονται κάποιες φορές στη διάρκεια της διαταραχής σαν παρείσακτες και απρόσφορες και προκαλούν  έντονο άγχος ή δυσφορία
  2. Οι σκέψεις, οι παρορμήσεις και οι εικόνες δεν αποτελούν απλώς υπερβολικές ανησυχίες για προβλήματα της καθημερινής ζωής
  3. Το άτομο προσπαθεί να τις αγνοήσει ή να τις απωθήσει ή να τις εξουδετερώσει με κάποια άλλη σκέψη ή πράξη.
  4. Το άτομο αναγνωρίζει ότι οι ιδεοληπτικές σκέψεις, παρορμήσεις ή εικόνες αποτελούν προϊόν του δικού του νου (δεν επιβάλλονται απ’ έξω)
  5. Στις ιδεοληψίες συμπεριλαμβάνονται: η μόλυνση, η παθολογική αμφιβολία, η ανάγκη για συμμετρία, σωματικές ιδεοληψίες, σεξουαλικές ιδεοληψίες, κτλ.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Compulsions as defined by the following:

  1. Repetitive behaviors (eg washing hands, tidying up, checking), or mental acts (eg prayers, counting, silent repetitions of words), which the person feels compelled to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules to be followed be strictly enforced.
  2. Behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing discomfort or preventing some unavoidable event or situation. However, these behaviors or mental acts are not realistically connected to what they are designed to counteract or prevent, or are clearly excessive.

B. At some point in the course of the disorder the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or irrational (this does not apply to children).

C. The obsessions or compulsions cause significant distress, take up a significant portion of the person’s time (more than one hour per day), or significantly interfere with normal daily activities, occupational or school performance, or normal social activities and relationships.

D. Compulsions include: checking, washing, measuring, needing to ask questions or confess, symmetry and accuracy, hoarding, multiple comparisons.

See also: The unconscious realm of the psyche

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Compulsions as a reaction

Compulsions are repetitive actions or mental rituals that people with this disorder feel compelled to perform. These actions often seem irrational and excessive to outsiders, but to them they serve a critical purpose – to relieve the stress and anxiety caused by their obsessions.

The spectrum of compulsions is wide and varies greatly from person to person. They may include actions such as excessive cleaning, repetitive checking, measuring, or arranging objects in a particular order. These behaviors are not self-satisfying—instead, they are driven by a strong urge to avoid imagined catastrophes or to achieve a state of “everything is perfect” feeling.

Effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder on daily life

Daily routines can become time-consuming and stressful due to the constant need to perform rituals or control actions repeatedly. Even simple tasks such as leaving the house, eating or personal hygiene can become time-consuming processes. This can lead to significant delays, lost opportunities and can even affect employment.

Social interactions may also be greatly reduced. Intense anxiety and fear of infection can limit social contacts and lead to isolation. Similarly, fear of acting on disturbing thoughts can lead to avoidance of certain places or people, further limiting social relationships.

In addition, the constant mental exhaustion from struggling with obsessions can affect concentration and memory, affecting academic or professional performance.

Obsessive compulsive disorder and fear aggression

An important aspect of OCD is the intense, often debilitating, fear of aggression that many individuals experience. This fear stems from individuals preoccupation with disturbing thoughts, which are often violent or harmful in nature. The distress caused by these intrusive thoughts can lead to compulsive behaviors aimed at neutralizing or preventing the feared outcomes.

Despite the non-violent nature of most, the fear of aggression can be overwhelming. This fear does not reflect the individuals actual propensity for violence, but is rather an exaggerated reaction to their disturbing thoughts. It is the fear of losing control, of acting out their unwanted, aggressive thoughts, which they find repugnant and contrary to their true nature.

Impulse control in obsessive-compulsive disorder

The compulsive fears that if he lets the aggression loose, that he will murder, kill. It is accumulated inside him like feces that you hold and squeeze. At some point if you are pressed you will let them go. In behavior this is done in bursts. Especially if you have problems from the first year of life, there are combinations and you take revenge for the old ones as well. People with this type of character are very meticulous. They need to have a structure in mind to get along. They cannot escape from stereotypes and cannot relax. Relations with them are very difficult. So these also come out in therapy. There we see how this anger was created and it takes many repetitions and many small or large explosions for the anger to go away and the real feelings to surface. This scares him a lot. That is why he has distorted them to such an extent that they are not only invisible but also unrecognizable. The compulsive would make a very good surgeon or butcher because there he would get his aggression out in a legitimate way. He has such aggression in him. He tries to control his urges and this creates both pleasure and trouble at the same time since it causes him symptoms.

Obsessive compulsive disorder in personal relationships

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can lead to doubts about a partner’s faithfulness, a constant need for reassurance, or obsessive cleanliness that may be difficult for others to understand. These obsessions can lead to compulsive behaviors such as constant checking or repetitive questioning, which can be emotionally draining for partners, family and friends. It is vital to remember that these actions are not a choice for the person with this disorder, but rather a response to their overwhelming anxiety.

Managing it in personal relationships requires understanding, patience and effective communication. It is important for the person to express their experiences and for their loved ones to be educated about the condition. Therapy and mutual support can play a key role in managing these challenges.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder

Understanding the various treatment approaches for OCD is a critical part of managing this complex disorder. The main treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication, often in combination. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, especially a subtype known as exposure and response prevention, is considered among the best treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Exposure and response prevention involves gradually exposing individuals to their feared stimuli to help them resist performing their compulsive behaviors, thereby learning that their anxiety will eventually decrease even without the compulsion. Cognitive-behavioral therapy also incorporates cognitive strategies to challenge and modify maladaptive beliefs associated with the disorder.

Every psychological problem has unconscious roots. So here we are looking to find them. Unconscious root, means that there were unpleasant things in our childhood that bothered us or seemed intense to us or tired us too much, or scared us too much. So we pushed them away. In other words, we pushed them towards the warehouse of the soul. We put them there temporarily for the purpose of managing them later. But we usually forget them deliberately, we postpone them, because we know they hurt us, so they start to rise up. They rebel. They want attention. They demand satisfaction. Because they were deprived of their rights. As long as we don’t listen to them, they cause symptoms. The more we ignore them, the louder they scream.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The symptomatology intensifies when one takes pleasure in between. Because in the compulsive there is guilt for the murders he has committed inside. So all joy is forbidden. Every guilty pleasure. So sooner or later the compulsive will become depressed. He may not manifest it up to a point, but he will.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What-is-Obsessive-Compulsive-Discorder-OCD-RM-722x406-300x169 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Unconscious roots of obsessive-compulsive disorder

The roots of OCD are usually experiences and feelings from the person’s past that unconsciously contribute to the manifestation of the disorder in the present.

These experiences, although buried deep in the mind, continue to influence behavior, thought patterns, and emotional responses. They cause obsessions and compulsions as the person subconsciously tries to control or alleviate the unresolved conflict.

For example, a child who has experienced intense criticism may develop this disorder in an unconscious attempt to maintain control and avoid further criticism. Obsessions and compulsions serve as a defense mechanism against fear of perceived threats from the environment.

The Possibility of Hidden Psychosis

In the realm of obsessive-compulsive disorder, beyond the unconscious roots of the disorder, there is a complex interaction with possible covert psychosis that needs careful consideration. The intertwined dynamics of these two mental health disorders can create a maze of symptoms that can be difficult to navigate.

The presence of latent psychosis can significantly alter the presentation and course of the disorder. Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors can become more intense and potentially dangerous. The person may exhibit rigid adherence to rituals or routines and an increased sense of anxiety or distress that is out of proportion to the situation.

This masked psychosis can also affect the person’s perception of reality. They may have difficulty distinguishing their obsessive thoughts from reality, which can further exacerbate their discomfort and anxiety. In severe cases, the person may even experience delusions or hallucinations.

There is also the compulsive who uses control to defend against psychosis. Things are a little different here. In other words, we may in some cases have a person who has some psychotic active or not elements and behaves in an obsessive-compulsive manner in order not to allow himself to regress further into stages of self development where reality is lost and where the self is merged. There we have the possibility to do a more in-depth diagnostic evaluation since I have the special training to do it and understand what case it is. So in this way I propose the most appropriate therapeutic intervention.

Commitment required for psychotherapy

In embarking on the journey of psychotherapy for OCD, serious patient commitment is paramount to successful treatment and management of the disorder. This commitment is not only about a willingness to attend therapy sessions, but also a willingness to face uncomfortable truths, challenge entrenched thought patterns, and take consistent action toward change.

Treatment often includes cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure and response prevention, which require active participation and persistence on the part of the patient. It takes courage to face anxiety-inducing obsessions head-on, without resorting to compulsions for temporary relief. It requires dedication to practicing new cognitive and behavioral strategies, even when progress seems slow.

In addition, therapy requires honesty and openness, as patients must share their deepest fears and concerns with their therapist. It also requires a commitment to self-care outside of treatment sessions, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques.

In conclusion, OCD significantly affects daily life due to its bothersome symptoms.

Understanding the role of obsessions and compulsions is vital to effective treatment.

And finally, the patient’s commitment to psychotherapy is essential for successful results.



Read also: Stress and its sources. The primal anxiety

Read also: Infidelity in relationships

*Republication of the article without the written permission of the author is prohibited.

The process of psychotherapy requires commitment, dedication and is only for those who are serious about changing their lives. If you are considering embarking on this journey, call me at 211 71 51 801 to make an appointment and let’s see together how I can help you.

Michael Paterakis

Psychologist Psychotherapist

37 Karneadou Street, Kolonaki

I accept By appointment

Tel: 211 7151 801



Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


    Πατεράκης Μιχάλης
    Ψυχολόγος Αθήνα


      Psychologist Athens