Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, doubts, urges, or sensations (obsessions). To get rid of the thoughts, they feel driven to do some type of behaviors, routines, or rituals repetitively (compulsions). The repetitive behaviors can significantly interfere with a person’s daily activities and social interactions.
Many people without OCD have distressing thoughts or repetitive behaviors. However, these do not typically disrupt daily life. For people with OCD, obsessions are persistent and unwanted, and behaviors are rigid.
Not performing the behaviors commonly causes great distress, often attached to a specific fear of dire consequences (to self or loved ones) if the behaviors are not completed. Many people with OCD know or suspect their obsessional thoughts and doubts are not realistic, however find it almost impossible to refrain from engaging in the behaviors in an attempt to gain relief from the anxiety.
A diagnosis of OCD requires the presence of obsessional thoughts and/or compulsions that are time-consuming (more than one hour a day), cause significant distress, and impair work or social functioning.
OCD affects 2-3% of people in the United States, and among adults, slightly more women than men are affected. OCD often begins in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. Some people may have some symptoms of OCD but not meet full criteria for this disorder.
Common obsessions include fears of germs or getting a disease, fears of hurting someone or oneself, fears of doing something embarrassing or immoral, fears of forgetting to do something, and the need for symmetry or for things to be "just right."
Common compulsions include excessive checking, washing or cleaning, arranging, repeating actions, saving things, and mental rituals such as counting, praying, reviewing. People with OCD often spend a great deal of time focusing on their obsessions and completing rituals/compulsions.
The OCD Cycle
- Constant checking
- Constant counting
- Repeated washing and cleaning
- Constantly checking the stove or door locks
- Fear of contamination
- Thoughts that you might be harmed or harm others
OCD can interfere with an person’s ability to function at school, work, or home, and can interfere with family relationships and friendships.
If one or more of the above symptoms resonates with you, we encourage you to look into OCD therapy today. Research shows that the most effective treatments for OCD are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and a specific type of CBT called Exposure Response Prevention (ERP).
Our team is extensively trained in helping individuals overcome and grow from their OCD. And together, we’ll create a strategy that works explicitly for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation.