Somatic OCD is a mental disorder that is characterized by obsessions and compulsions related to one’s own body. Somatic OCD involves undesirable hypersensitivity to physical sensations, internal functions and thoughts.
If you are preoccupied with bodily sensations or internal one-of-a-kind sensations such as heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, eye floaters and your own inner voice, then you may be suffering from Sensorimotor Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
A person who has Somatic syndrome may experience intrusive thoughts about the speed and size of his/her breathing, frequency of blinking or heart rate. These intrusive thoughts can cause people’s minds to be so preoccupied with them that they cannot concentrate on anything else and cause intense panic attacks.
People have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) when they are not able to hold down thoughts that they feel shouldn’t come into their minds. They engage in compulsions, which are actions aimed at decreasing these thoughts or preventing them from coming back. Compulsions can be simple actions like counting or repeating words over and over again.
Many normal people at some point in their lives occasionally have obsessive thoughts and or compulsions, but that doesn’t mean everyone has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. For a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder to be made, the obsession and compulsion cycle must be so intense that it causes a great deal of time and affects a person’s quality of life.
What are the symptoms of somatic OCD?
A person with somatic OCD may feel the following symptoms:
Signs of Somatic OCD?
Below are all the feelings and signs of having Somatic OCD.
1. Does your focus remain drawn to physical processes such as swallowing, heartbeat, digestion, blinking, or breathing?
2. Do you try to focus on right way to breath, swallow, and blink?
3. Are you having thoughts that make you feel like you are out of control of your thoughts? For example, have you thought about what would happen if you never stopped thinking about blinking and lost your mind? If it took the joy out of everything?
4. Do You Fear You Never Will Be Able To Stop Counting These Behaviors?
5. Do you make an effort to distract yourself from noticing that you’re ordinarily conscious about your own body’s functioning like breathing, swallowing, or blinking. For example, avoiding someone who has repetitive blinking behavior. Some examples of the behaviors one may avoid are mirrors, listening to loud music, or sleeping with the television or AC on.
6. Do you avoid certain people based on your awareness of their blinking, breathing, or swallowing? For example, avoiding someone who has prominent blinking behavior.
7. Are you generally hyperaware of bodily sensations?
8. Do you feel that others will notice you awkwardly swallowing, blinking or breathing?
9. People with somatic OCD may also have difficulty sleeping, eating, or engaging in other activities because of their obsessions.
What causes somatic OCD?
There is no known cause of somatic OCD till now by experts. However, it is believed to be caused by genetic, brain abnormalities, and environmental factors. In addition, it is reported that for some people, OCD may develop due to facing difficult life situations, stress, terrible accidents, traumatic incidents, and or unforgetful memories through which a person passed or gone through.
OCD often starts in early teen ages or in early adult times, but it can also begin during childhood and may progress further with age. OCD affects both males and females equally among the gender population.
5 Ways to overcome OCD
1. There are many ways to train your brain to change the way it reacts to negative thoughts and compulsions. Meditation is a popular tool that has been shown to be an effective weapon against OCD as well as anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions.
2. Another way to combat OCD is through cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps patients understand the root cause of their disorder and work through behaviors that help them cope with their symptoms.
3. The third option for tackling OCD is through over implementation of coping strategies such as deep breathing exercises and healthy lifestyles.
4. The fourth method of conquering OCD is through a gradual, step-by-step approach with a therapist or coach who can guide you through each new step in overcoming your fears, one by one.
5. Finally, there exist medications that can be used in conjunction with these options if your doctor deems the treatment necessary.
How can somatic OCD be treated?
There is no single answer to this question as there are lots of different ways to approach somatic obsessive-compulsive disorder (SOCD), depending on the specific symptoms and conditions of the individual. Nevertheless, some accessible procedures for somatic OCD contain psychotherapy, medication, and self-help.
Speaking to a trained professional can be a good way to alter your current situation if you have somatic OCD. However, similarly typical treatment methods, like therapy and medication, typically work well for it.
Treatments for Somatic OCD
Below are all the treatments used for Somatic OCD:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing the way a person thinks and behaves. CBT is often used to treat mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. CBT typically involves working with a therapist to identify and change negative thoughts or behaviors. The goal of CBT is to help the person feel better overall.
Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP)
Exposure and response prevention therapy, or ERP, is a type of mental health treatment that focuses on preventing relapses in individuals with psychiatric disorders. The goal of ERP is to help the individual learn how to react positively to potential triggers in order to avoid or reduce their anxiety and distress. In general, ERP involves gradually exposing the individual to situations and stimuli that could potentially trigger their symptoms, and then helping them learn how to respond appropriately. This typically involves working with the individual one-on-one, but can also involve group sessions.
There is no single medication that is effective for the treatment of Somatic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (SOCD). However, a variety of medications are often prescribed to patients with SOCD, including SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), tricyclic antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Many patients find relief from their symptoms when treated with a combination of different medications. Some patients also find relief from therapy and/or counseling.
Can somatic OCD go away by its own?
There is no one answer to whether or not somatic OCD can go away by itself, but therapy and support may help some people manage the condition. “People with somatic OCD may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves learning to identify and challenge the unhealthy thought patterns that lead to the compulsive behaviors,” Dr. Simons says. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that has been successfully used to treat many different disorders, including OCD. CBT helps patients identify and challenge their irrational thoughts and behaviors.
Does somatic OCD return back?
There is no definitive answer as to whether or not somatic OCD returns after a period of remission. Some people experience a recurrence of symptoms, while others do not. Some people find that certain triggers continue to cause them distress, even after years of managing the disorder.
How does it feel like after starting medication for OCD?
It can take a while for the medication to work its full effect, but in the beginning it can feel like a weight has been lifted off your chest. You may find that you’re finally able to relax and let go of some of the obsessive thoughts and behaviors. It’s also common to experience some side effects at first, such as feeling a bit lightheaded or dizzy, but these usually pass after a few weeks.
Summary and Conclusion
Somatic OCD is a disorder that typically affects people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around their body. It can be very difficult to live with, as sufferers often feel constantly anxious and paranoid about their body. There is currently no cure for Somatic OCD, but there are treatments available that can help lessen its effects.
In conclusion, somatic OCD is a common, chronic anxiety disorder that involves obsessions and compulsions related to one’s body. There is evidence that somatic obsessions and compulsions are associated with specific patterns of neurological activation in the brain. Treatment options for somatic OCD include cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication.