Everyone has been hooked on a thought, a concern, a memory that returns again and again or even the lyrics of a song repeating over and over in our heads.

Where does worry end and obsession begin? To what extent it is normal to get into the habit of doing certain things or doing them a certain way?

It is order or obsession?

Certainly you must go for counseling when symptoms cause you to experience suffering. Also when symptoms keep you from carrying out the life you want and certainly if theydirectly make you unable to work, socialize, eat or communicate regularly and easily.

The family and the environment in general should show understanding for this great suffering, but never take part in rituals or repetitions. And it certainly does not help when they try to calm the sufferer. Contrary to what it may seem, these attitudes (which are attempted solutions) only reinforce the disorder.

If the case is serious, involving everyday life, it is very likely that it can just be worked on and improved without medication.

And after that? Is the disorder forever? It is generally considered that after one year of pharmacologic treatment if the person is fully operational and free of symptoms for at least two weeks, t the need to continue pharmacological treatment should be re-evaluated.

But beware, because after a successful cure, symptoms may also return, and must be addressed as soon as possible.

However obsessions are not always caused by an obsessive disorder; there are other processes such as depression which come with obsessive thoughts. In these cases the treatment of depression improves obsessive symptoms.

Picture from Sandra Seroubian

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