OCD - also known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - is a psychological condition that manifests in compulsions to a degree that they interfere with other apsects of a person's life; according to Montreal psychologists, aspects of life that OCD can inhibit include the social, romantic, and professional settings. Studies estimate that about 2% of the general population is affected from some form of OCD.
Although OCD can take many forms, the most common forms are obsessive hand-washing, hoarding, renovating, contamination avoidance, and so on and so forth. While generally accepted as an anxiety disorder, recent theories suggest that the underlying anxiety is in fact, a fight or flight response to an over-active disgust reaction. Identifying disgust triggers may be of great therapeutic value to psychologists, as it can help them focus and direct their psychology sessions accordingly.
How Disgust Relates to OCD
In general, disgust is triggered by anything that lacks order. Broadly speaking, anything that lacks hygene, proportionality, symmetry, parallels, right-angles, similarity, reliability, and predictability, tends to trigger a disgust reaction. Given the over-active disgust sensitivity of those of us with OCD, these triggers tend to elicit a much greater disgust reaction compared to the norm. The greater the disgust reaction is, the greater the subsequent anxiety will be.
Why Disgust Triggers Anxiety
Historically, disgusting things often meant poisonous insects, infections, and anyting else that should be avoided. This is why we have evolved the ability to detect things that should be avoided (disgust), and the resulting anxiety to either avoid the trigger or fix it if possible; these are essentially behaviors typically seen with OCD, except that with actual OCD, those behaviors are exhibited to the point that it interferes with every day life.
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