What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects about 1.2% of U.S. adults. People with OCD experience unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that cause them anxiety or distress. They also perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions) to try to reduce or neutralize their anxiety. For example, someone with OCD may have a fear of germs and compulsively wash their hands or even develop a compulsive shopping disorder.

OCD can be a chronic and disabling condition that interferes with daily functioning and quality of life. Unfortunately, some people with OCD may also be at a higher risk of developing dementia, a group of brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, and behavior. Dementia is more common in older adults, especially those over 65 years old, and it can cause cognitive decline, confusion, and personality changes.

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How OCD is linked to dementia

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry ¹, people with OCD are more likely to develop dementia than people without OCD. The study used data from a large insurance database in Taiwan and followed 1,347 people with OCD and 13,470 matched controls without OCD for an average of 11 years. The researchers found that:

  • People with OCD had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and unspecified dementia than people without OCD.
  • People with OCD developed dementia about 6 years earlier than people without OCD (70.5 years versus 76.7 years).
  • People with OCD had a higher rate of early-onset dementia (before age 65) than people without OCD (1.7% versus 0.1%).

The exact reasons why OCD is associated with dementia are not clear, but some possible explanations are:

  • OCD may share some genetic or environmental risk factors with dementia, such as the APOE gene or chronic inflammation.
  • OCD may cause chronic stress or damage to the brain over time, which may increase the vulnerability to dementia.
  • OCD may make it harder to detect or treat dementia symptoms, as some cognitive impairments or behavioral changes may be attributed to OCD rather than dementia.
How OCD and dementia affect compulsive shopping

One of the possible consequences of having both OCD and dementia is compulsive shopping, which is the uncontrollable urge to buy things that are not needed or wanted. Compulsive shopping can cause financial problems, family conflicts, and emotional distress for the person and their caregivers.

Compulsive shopping can be triggered by different factors in people with OCD and dementia, such as:

  • Obsessions: People with OCD may have obsessive thoughts about buying certain items or completing certain collections, which may drive them to shop compulsively.
  • Compulsions: People with OCD may use shopping as a way to cope with their anxiety or to perform rituals related to their obsessions, such as buying multiples of the same item or checking prices repeatedly.
  • Memory loss: People with dementia may forget what they have already bought or why they bought it, which may lead them to buy the same things again or buy things they don’t need.
  • Impulsivity: People with dementia may lose their ability to control their impulses or plan ahead, which may make them more prone to buy things on a whim or fall for marketing tricks.
  • Boredom: People with dementia may feel bored or lonely due to their cognitive decline or social isolation, which may make them seek stimulation or comfort through shopping.

Compulsive shopping can be especially problematic when it involves purchasing products from home shopping channels and other ads on TV. These sources of shopping may be more accessible, appealing, or persuasive for people with OCD and dementia, as they may:

  • Provide constant exposure to new products and offers that may trigger obsessions or impulses.
  • Use high-pressure tactics such as limited-time deals, scarcity cues, testimonials, or guarantees that may exploit cognitive biases or vulnerabilities.
  • Offer easy payment methods such as credit cards, phone orders, or online transactions that may bypass rational decision-making or budgeting.
  • Deliver products directly to the home without requiring transportation or social interaction that may deter or limit shopping.

Click Here to see how teleCalm can help stop compulsive shopping from home shopping channels and TV ads!

How teleCalm service can help

If you have a loved one who suffers from both OCD and dementia and engages in compulsive shopping from home shopping channels and TV ads, you may feel frustrated, worried, or helpless. Fortunately, there is a service that can help you manage this issue: teleCalm.

teleCalm is a phone service that is designed specifically for seniors with dementia and their caregivers. It works with any existing phone and phone number, and it offers several features that can prevent or reduce compulsive shopping, such as:

  • Blocking unwanted outgoing calls to home shopping channels and TV ads
  • Blocking ALL incoming calls from telemarketers, scammers, and any other numbers you choose.
  • Allowing only trusted callers to reach your loved one, such as family, friends, doctors, or emergency services.
  • Viewing your loved one’s phone activity and alerting you of any suspicious or unusual calls, such as repeated calls to the same number or calls at odd hours.
  • Providing you with a dashboard on an app where you can control and customize your loved one’s phone settings, such as call blocking, call filtering, or call scheduling.

By using teleCalm, you can protect your loved one from compulsive shopping and its negative consequences, while also preserving their dignity, independence, and connection. You can also reduce your own stress and worry, knowing that your loved one is safe and supported.

If you are interested in learning more about teleCalm, please visit https://www.teleCalmProtects.com or call 1-888-701-0411.

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