Do you have OCDs

Have you recently taken one of those tests on Facebook that detect whether you have OCDs? Did you ace it and then tell all your friends how well you did? Congratulations! An OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a common, chronic and often life-long disorder in which a person has uncontrollable and recurring thoughts or obsession and behaviour or compulsions. The suffering person has an urge to repeat the thought or action over and over again. The obsession could be about germs or hygiene, organising the house or your workspace. For example, some people have a desire to wash their hands repetitively. Howard Hughes, the famous aviator, had an obsession with his clothes. Fortunately, an obsessive desire to read my work does not count.

Not all OCDs are chronic or severe. In general, only if you are obsessing about something for over an hour a day, does it qualify as an OCD. Historically, the cause of such behaviour was unknown. It was believed that your genes could be responsible or even a Vitamin deficiency. In a recently conducted research study, correlations were found between behaviour classified as compulsive and inflammation in the brain also known as neuroinflammation. In a small cohort of twenty people, who demonstrated compulsive behaviour, researchers were able to dye microglia; cells activated during inflammation. People inflicted with OCDs showed an increase in microglia. Interestingly, another research study also found linkages between sleeping late at night and obsessive compulsive behaviour.

Scientists now believe that it may be possible to treat such symptoms with medicines designed to target inflammation of the brain. A medical response to an OCD is significant as often people diagnosed are also at risk of general anxiety, stress, social anxiety, attention deficit or even depression. As for me my OCD’s are limited to a critical eye for design. Thankfully, my sense of design is poorly developed and does not inflame often. You?


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.