Treatment for OCD and Other Compulsive Behaviors
What is OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, is an anxiety disorder in which people experience recurrent thoughts and feelings (obsessions) that make them feel driven to perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions). OCD affects about 3% of Americans and often begins in childhood, teenage years, or early adulthood.
Of course, persistent thoughts or repetitive behaviors are not the sole domain of people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Almost everyone experiences thoughts like these from time to time. The difference with OCD is a matter of degree.
For people with OCD, those thoughts almost never leave them. The compulsions that often accompany the obsessions are also persistent and intense. So much so that they present challenges in daily living and can have a negative effect on quality of life.
Common OCD Symptoms
What are Obesessions?
Obsessions are persistent, recurring thoughts, images or feelings. Obsessions frequently trigger upsetting feelings like anxiety or disgust. People with OCD often realize their obsessions are not realistic, sensible or true. However, this awareness does not provide any respite or relief.
Attempts to control or distract themselves from these persistent thoughts are rarely effective. The symptoms and associated stress generally continue unabated until the person gets proper treatment for OCD.
Most people with OCD recognize their fixations are not sensible or realistic. Unfortunately that realization does not cause the thoughts to subside. Some have what is known as “limited insight”. That means they can rationalize their obsessions to a certain degree.
Some common obsessions include:
- Inappropriate or upsetting sexual thoughts
- Fixations on symmetry, alignment or precision
- Fear of germs or being contaminated by people/places/things
- Recurring, troubling thoughts of images, words, sounds or numbers
- Fear of spontaneously shouting insults or obscene words
- Worries about losing something precious or important
Where obsessions fall in the realm of thoughts, compulsions are in the realm of actions or behaviors. Repetitive actions or processes that a person feels driven towards because of an obsession are known as compulsions.
These compulsion behaviors generally need to be executed in order to alleviate the stress caused by an obsession, even though the relief is only temporary. Some compulsions directly relate to an obsession, like excessive hand washing due to the fear of bacteria.
Other compulsions seem to be unrelated to the obsession that triggers them. For example, a need to count the the gaps in the sidewalk before you reach your bus stop. For some people with OCD, compulsive behaviors can occupy so much time that they disrupt daily living in profound ways.
Some common compulsions include:
- Excessive washing of hands or body or clipping nails.
- Repeated, meticulous cleaning of objects
- Repeatedly counting to a certain number
- Checking door locks or appliances over and over
- A need to have objects in a certain order or alignment
- Continuously seeking approval from others
There are a number of evidence-based treatments shown to help people manage their obsessive-compulsive disorder. They range from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to pharmacotherapy (medication) to self-care and wellness practices including meditation, yoga, exercise and nutrition.
The most effective OCD treatment plans usually include a combination of methods. Together they can create a therapeutic synergy which provides the person with more relief and resolution than they might have achieved otherwise.
The Reconnect Difference
Reconnect programs are different. Here you will find obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment that is evidence-based and practical, but always delivered with warmth and compassion. The dedicated mental health professionals at Reconnect are invested in the long-term wellness of every person entrusted to our care.
The mission here is to not only provide relief during treatment, but to give people the knowledge, understanding and tools they need to continue to grow and progress after treatment. Under the leadership of renowned trauma specialist, Dr. Karol Darsa Psy.D. we provide intensive, transformational treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder that is unlike anything you will find at most mental health treatment programs.
Healing Begins When You Reconnect
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with any of these conditions, or shows symptoms, the team at Reconnect wants to help. No one deserves to live with an untreated or undertreated mental health disorder. Treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder is more effective today than ever before.
The help you and your loved ones deserve is just a phone call away.
Contact us at: (310) 713-6739