What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
OCD is an illness in which obsessions and/or compulsions are present. It falls under the broad heading of an Anxiety Disorder. People with OCD know their thoughts and behaviors are excessive and may not make sense, however, they can’t control or stop them.
What are Obsessions?
Obsessions are recurrent, frequent, and intrusive thoughts that cause anxiety and fear and usually have an impact on the person’s daily life in negative ways. Often, obsessions cause people to engage in behaviors which they feel will decrease their anxiety and make the thought disappear.
Common obsessions include:
- Concerns about germs, uncleanliness, disease
- Concerns about danger
- Aggressive thoughts
- Concerns about putting things in order
What are Compulsions?
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that are performed in order to reduce the anxiety the obsession has caused.
Common compulsions include:
- Excessive hand washing
- Repeatedly turning off the oven, lights, electrical appliances. This may include doing these things in a certain order
- Saying words or thinking something when performing a task
- Daily rituals
- Arranging things in a certain order
What is the treatment for OCD?
Studies show that the most effective treatment for OCD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. The premise of CBT is that our thoughts and feelings play a major role in our behaviors and how we view and interpret the world. CBT therapists teach their clients that they can control their thoughts and interpretations of events.
In therapy, the therapist will first help the client identify what thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are problematic in their life. They will then help their clients develop skills which will enable them to be more in control of their thoughts and behaviors. Clients will learn to face their fears so they will no longer avoid certain situations or engage in compulsive behaviors to reduce anxiety.
CBT therapists are very active in therapy. This is a collaborative therapy experience. Clients are given homework to practice in between sessions to solidify what is taught and practiced within the therapy session. I will develop a treatment plan that is made just for you.
Please feel free to either email or call me if you feel that I can be of help or have questions.