What exactly is OCD?
Obsessive compulsive disorders are a group of mental and behavioral issues that involve obsession: thinking repeatedly about something (including dwelling or worrying), and compulsion: feeling compelled to do certain behaviors, such as having an absolutely perfectly made bed, excessive hand washing, or repetitive actions such as blinking or touching objects a certain amount of times.
Other examples of obsessive compulsive disorder behaviors:
- Fear of germs (which may cause them to avoid touching certain objects, to wash hands, clean clothes, or clean the house excessively)
- Needing to change clothes, re-make the bed, etc repeatedly till it feels “right”
- Needing repeatedly to make sure lights are off, doors are locked, etc (aka “checking”)
- Arranging items in patterns
- Counting while performing a task such as opening a door or walking up steps to land on a “good” or “safe” number
- Fear that a certain actions or the failure to do certain rituals will cause others or themselves harm
OCD is thought to be caused by issues with the neurotransmitter serotonin. Low serotonin, which is often seen in the brains of people with OCD, can trigger a feeling of anxiety, fear, or foreboding. It is this feeling that can push people to take up “safety - related” rituals, which will give a brief moment of relief from fears. Unfortunately, that relief is short lived, and moments later they may go right back into their fear state, which encourages more ritualistic behavior to get that small moment of relief again.
Children and adults with OCD generally live with a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. Watching your child or loved one go through this kind of stress (or going through it yourself!) can be very painful. Fortunately, there are many holistic, gentle treatments for OCD.
Inositol is a type of sugar that is found in plants, especially beans and certain fruits. In the body, inositol is converted to chemicals which enhance serotonin in the brain. High doses of inositol have been shown to decrease symptoms of OCD in several studies. Other possible nutritional treatments of OCD and anxiety include L-theanine, GABA, and 5-HTP.
In addition, excessive histamine levels (the same chemical that makes people break out in hives or get itchy, watery eyes during the spring) may play a role in anxiety and OCD. People with high histamine may get some improvement through changes such as a low histamine diet or botanical medicines such as quercetin.
Help for OCD through Homeopathy
There are many different homeopathic remedies that can help people struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder. To get the best remedy for yourself or someone struggling with anxiety and OCD, a full homeopathic consultation should be done with a qualified practitioner. There are thousands of remedies and just one that’s right for each person! However, just to give you an idea of the types of behaviors that can be helped with homeopathy, here are brief descriptions of some of our most common remedies for OCD:
People that need this remedy tend to be open, friendly, and quirky. They often have unusual impulses, such as the urge to blurt something out, touch someone, or do something inappropriate. They may spend a lot of energy trying to hold themselves back from acting these out. They tend to have many fears and superstitions. Common phobias include tight spaces, tests, and an extreme fear of being late.
People that need arsenicum album generally have an extreme fear of germs, and may feel the need to wash their hands, shower, brush their teeth, or clean their rooms compulsively. All fears tend to be around security: in addition to fearing germs, they may have a fear of other types of illness (especially cancer), a fear robbers or someone breaking in to the house, or a fear of death. Because of this they always need someone nearby and are afraid to be alone. They can be critical, irritable, and demanding.
These people tend to be overly sensitive, and may react by getting overloaded, having a melt down or an outburst, and then isolating. It is a common remedy for OCD in autism or PDD.
People that need calcarea carbonica tend to be organized, pleasant, and hard working. Children may be obsessed with organizing and lining up objects. Adults and children can have many fears that center around losing control and being unable to work or otherwise fulfill their duty. Common fears include fear of going insane, hypochondria, claustrophobia, fear of heights, fear of driving over bridges, fear of ghosts or spirits, and fear of natural disasters.
People who need this remedy often have a free-floating anxiety and a sense that something bad is about to happen or that they have forgotten something. Their fears and rituals can especially get bad just after sundown, as night time can trigger more anxiety. They are “checkers” - they may feel compelled to check repeatedly to make sure the stove is off, that they have their keys, or that the door is locked. Interestingly, people may often have this rigidity on a physical level as well, with tight tendons and muscles, arthritis, and calcifications in their tissues.
If you are interested in any of these remedies, herbs, or nutritional therapies, click here for our online medicinary.
- KidsHealth: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- British Homeopathic Association: Overcoming Anxiety and Fears