Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition characterized by recurrent obsessions and compulsions. An obsession is an unwanted or intrusive thought or urge that will often cause distress, which leads to an action (compulsion) intended to put the mind at ease. These compulsions are repetitive behaviors that an individual feels driven to perform in an attempt to reduce the distress brought on by the obsessive thoughts. Most of the obsessive thoughts experienced by an individual with OCD are excessive and irrational, and the compulsions do not always have a rational connection to the obsessive thought. It is common for an individual with OCD to be aware of the unreasonable thoughts and behaviors, but they are unable to control the anxiety that arises from it.
Not all rituals or habits are compulsions. Everyone double checks things sometimes. But a person with OCD generally:
Like many illnesses, individuals respond to varying treatments. For OCD, it is common to use a combination of medication and therapy. A type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) has proven very helpful in the treatment of OCD. ERP therapy relies on the principle of habituation and involves exposing the patient to the feared situation in a controlled manner, gradually increasing the degree of exposure. In utilizing ERP, it is important to work with an experienced professional whom you trust, and an understanding that you may feel a little discomfort as you approach your fears. Medications are commonly used for ongoing management of the condition, or can be used to curb the symptoms in the beginning of the therapy process.
One of the great things about NYC is that there are so many professionals with experience in very niche areas. Finding the right treatment is half of the equation; finding the right therapist is the other half. In getting help with OCD, find a professional you feel comfortable and safe with; don’t settle for just anyone. At The Convenus Group we have experienced providers on our team, as well as in our referral network. We will help you find the best fit for you.
Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD) is a long-lasting condition in which the person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and behaviors. It causes the individual to get caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions that interfere with daily life. The obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts that trigger behaviors in an attempt to get rid of the thoughts. OCD is a serious condition, however there is help. At Dr. Ditzell Psychiatry we use a combination of therapy and medication to manage the symptoms of OCD and help our clients ease the burden of obsessive thoughts or compulsive actions.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.
It is difficult to list all the symptoms of OCD as they vary greatly between individuals. Some common examples of obsessions people with OCD experience include arranging items in a very particular order, irrational fears of contamination, uncontrollable thoughts about locking doors or turning off appliances. Common compulsions include excessive “checking” on door locks and appliances, frequent hand-washing, and repeating prayers or verses.
Some individuals with OCD also have a tic disorder. Motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements, such as eye blinking and other eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Common vocal tics include repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.
Symptoms may come and go, ease over time, or worsen. People with OCD may try to help themselves by avoiding situations that trigger their obsessions, or they may use alcohol or drugs to calm themselves. Although most adults with OCD recognize that what they are doing doesn’t make sense, some adults and most children may not realize that their behavior is out of the ordinary. Parents or teachers typically recognize OCD symptoms in children.
If you think you have OCD, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. If left untreated, OCD can interfere in all aspects of life.
By National Institute of Mental Health
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