Freeing yourself from obsessions to live better Freeing yourself from obsessions to live better

If there is an absurd thought that is persistent and involuntary and that is affecting your quality of life this may mean you need help.

Advisor Juliana Vergel Noguera


Those compulsive and obsessive ideas that appear suddenly with some persistent and illogical thought and then install in the mind to the point of causing emotional discomfort in the person, “Are more frequent than most of us think.” says Psychiatrist Doctor Juliana Vergel Noguera.

Obsession for order and symmetry – organizing clothes for their colors or by specific wear, cleaning and cleanliness, feeling dirty the entire time, a constant washing of the hands and cleaning everything one manipulates to avoid bacteria- are some common obsessions.

Nevertheless, these situations provoke compulsions and incite those who suffer from them to commit and repeat actions to mitigate the anguish that the situation causes them. One can say that it begins to transform into an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD. This is a type of anxiety that if not detected and treated on time will begin to interfere with work, school and personal relations.

The National Mental Health Institute explains it in the following way: “there are moments when we all feel the need to revise things. But where there is an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, those uncontrollable thoughts begin to cause us anxiety making us check out things repeatedly or making us carry out routines and daily rituals that can be alleviating for the anxiety but only temporarily.”


Juliana Vergel explains that even as a clear cause is not known, the hereditary factor can play an important role in the appearance of the symptom. The National Library of Medicine of the United States indicates, “This affection comes from a family tendency. Frequently, the symptoms appear in childhood or adolescence. Other reasons are associated to external situations that promote compulsive sentiments such as an experience lived during the day or some unresolved task that is important. There are not many options for the prevention of OCD as suggested by the Mayo Clinic. The most convenient thing to do is to consult with a specialist when there are signs of alarm. Behavioral therapy is especially useful in treating this disorder.

How does it manifest?

The National Institute for Mental Health provides some signals of alarm.

The obsessions include:

Fear of germs or contamination.

Anxiety of losing or misplacing something

Worry that something bad will happen to oneself or to others.

Undesired thoughts and taboos about sexuality, religion or other things

Procuring of symmetrical things that are in perfect order.

Compulsions can manifest as:

Excessive cleaning and washing of some part of the body

Keeping or storing unnecessary objects

Ordering and fixing things in a peculiar and precise manner

Proof-checking things repeatedly such as making sure the door is closed or

that the oven is turned off.