OCD DURING COVID-19 AND ITS HOMOEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT
For the first time in our lifetimes we are experiencing a world-wide pandemic that has disrupted the world. We don’t know exactly how or when it will end, but we do know there will be mental consequences for almost everyone. Person with OCD may find it difficult to tell the difference between taking sensible precautions against COVID-19 and excessive or perfectionist behavior. In this environment, where we get conflicting advice of what we are to do to protect ourselves and loved ones, what kind of modifications can be made for the treatment of OCD?
What is OCD (OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER).
Let’s understand it under obsession and compulsion.
Obsession is defined by:
- Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses that are experienced, at some time during the anxiety or distress.
- The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images with some other thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).
Compulsion is defined by:
- Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession.
- The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF OCD DURING COVID-19
Contamination & Washing- Contamination became the most common fears among people with OCD, during the COVID-19 pandemic. All the talk about corona virus and germs caused heightened reactions in those who suffer from OCD or germ phobias. People with anxiety often feel pressure to follow official public health guidelines. These people often wash hand frequently, sanitize door knob frequently, clean house frequently.
Doubt about Harm & Checking- During a pandemic, people with OCD may worry that they will transmit an illness (Harm) to another person, or they may go to extremes to try to avoid doing so. These people will repeatedly check the news for updated guidelines, and gathering excessive information. These people feel fear of harm coming to self or others because of not being careful enough, asking for excessive reassurance from doctors about health symptoms.
Religious OCD- This particular OCD represents a very serious condition that often grips the victim’s mind with fear and, in a very real way, controls their lives. People with religious OCD strongly believe in and fear punishment from a divine being or deity. Compulsively praying, asking others to behave correctly, excessively apologizing to a deity (God, Allah, etc) and seeking forgiveness for your behavior.
Hoarding OCD- Hoarding disorder is the excessive collection and retention of any material. People who hoard may feel a sense of security and comfort when surrounded by their possessions. With news of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of consumers across the world panic bought food and other essentials. During the period of lockdown, people had stocked up on things in order to survive for three to four months.
GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF OCD:
There are a lot of ways to get relief, even amid COVID-19 stress. Remember, most people who get COVID-19 don’t have serious complications. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself that it’s a challenging time and you’re doing the best you can. Follow advice from heath care professionals.
• Try limiting hand washing to 20 seconds each time and only washing them. Do it after going outside, before eating, after going to the bathroom, after coughing, sneezing, or blowing the nose.
• Follow guidelines for social distancing, but don’t isolate yourself more than necessary.
• Get information from reliable sources rather than social media.
• When online, avoid stressful people and websites if you feel overwhelmed by them. Likewise, you can limit how much news you read or watch — enough to stay informed, without worrying.
• Trust yourself that you can take creative approaches, outside of your usual therapy, to help yourself deal with OCD.
• Take time to do things you enjoy: connect with family and friends from afar, listen to music, read good books, get some fresh air, sing or dance, watch TV and movies that make you happy, and take every opportunity to relax.
Homeopathic Remedies for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder during Covid -19.
- Arsenicum Album: For Persistent Thoughts and fear of Death during covid period.
Arsenicum Album is the top natural medicine for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with persistent thoughts of approaching death during the pandemic of covid -19. And thus they take no medicine, as they think that their death is very near and at this stage taking any medicine is of no use. Such patients need people around them and cannot remain alone because they feel worse when alone. The thoughts of death accompanied by extreme restlessness, where the patient jumps out of bed and moves here and there with anxiety.
- Argentum Nitricum: For Impulsive Thoughts during covid times.
Argentum Nitricum is the best natural medicine for treating patients of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who have persistent impulsive thoughts. These impulsive thoughts can have different symptom presentations like while travelling in a train the persistent impulsive thought is to jump out of the window; while crossing a bridge over a river, the constant thought is to jump into the river or when standing on high buildings, there is the horrific thought of jumping down. Another marked feature for recommending natural Homeopathy remedy Argentum Nitricum for patients of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is that the impulsive thoughts make the patient very anxious and restless. This results in extreme and constant walking to get rid of such impulsive thoughts and the person walks till all strength of body is lost.
- Nux Vomica, Arsenicum Album and Carcinosinum: Where there is a Tendency to Put Everything in Order and sanitize.
The three best remedies for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that provide natural treatment to patients who have compulsiveness to put everything in order are Nux Vomica, Arsenicum Album and Carcinosinum. The patients who need natural medicine Nux Vomica are oversensitive and of a careful and angry nature who demand all the things done as they want and easily get angry if the order is not followed. Arsenicum Album is a natural Homeopathic remedy of great benefit for those patients of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who are very conscious about the order of things and cannot rest if the things are not in their proper place. This compulsion can go to such an extent that even if a painting hanging on the wall is slightly tilted, the mind does not rest till it is properly placed and the patient leaves every other work for this. Such patients also demand neatness in clothing. Carcinosinum is the natural Homeopathic remedy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder patients who are very concerned about cleanliness and want a specific pattern to be followed not only in placing things, but also in their dressing style. For instance, they always like color matching while dressing up and also when decorating the room. They demand perfection and don’t want anyone to touch during covid times.
- Natrum Muriaticum – For Compulsion to Check Locked Doors during covid period with a fear of contamination.
Natrum Muriaticum is the best natural remedy for those patients of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who are obsessed with the idea that corona virus patient may strike and repeatedly check the locks of doors. The obsession is so persistent that the patient even wakes up to check the news updates again and again.
- Syphilinum and Medorrhinum – Where there is Compulsion to Washing Hands
Syphilinum and Medorrhinum are very good natural medicines for patients of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who feel the compulsion to wash their hands again and again due to the persistent thought of getting their hands contaminated or dirty by touching any object. Such patients feel that germs of corona virus are present on each and every object and get into the habit of washing hands at very short intervals, without giving any consideration to other important work in their lives.
- Calcarea Carbonica – For Persistent thought of Going Mad or Insane because of fear of corona virus.
Calcarea Carbonica is a natural medicine of great help for patients of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who are mentally exhausted and constantly think of going mad or insane because of ever increasing cases of corona virus during pandemic. This thought of going mad prevails in the patient’s mind day and night and he or she is unable to put it aside even during sleep. This fear of going mad leads to great distress and to overcome it, the patient leaves all pending work aside and keeps him or herself busy in breaking sticks or bending pins.
- Stramonium and Pulsatilla with Persistent Religious Thoughts
Natural medicines Stramonium and Pulsatilla are equally good in tackling the persistent religious thoughts in patients of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder where the patient constantly thinks about religion reads holy books all the time and is almost always praying during covid period to prevent it.
Dr. Rashmeet Kaur
BHMS, M.D Part-2 (PSYCHIATRY)
Dr. Farah Khan
BHMS, M.D Part-2 (PSYCHIATRY)
Bakson Homoeopathic Medical College, Greater Noida.