Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a psychological disorder in which a person experiences both obsessive thinking patterns and compulsive behaviors, both of which result in significant distress in a person’s life.
Obsessions are intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images or urges. These obsessions are intensely uncomfortable, upsetting, and anxiety-provoking. Those with OCD also have compulsive behaviors which serve as an attempt to temporarily lessen the anxiety and discomfort associated with the obsessions. This cycle of obsessions and compulsions can become so time-consuming and upsetting that it can cause significant impairment in a person’s day-to-day life. A person with OCD is sometimes is able to recognize that the thoughts and behavior patterns he or she is they are engaging in are not “logical,”, but frustratingly, is unable to stop.
Although OCD can be extremely challenging, the good news is that with the right help, OCD is very treatable. The gold-standard treatment for OCD is called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP involves working with a therapist to gradually confront the things that one is avoiding, while not completing the compulsions that normally keep one stuck in the cycle of OCD.
Common signs of OCD include:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Constant checking
- Constant counting
- Repeated rituals
- The repeated cleaning of one or more items
- Constantly checking the stove or door locks
- Fear of contamination
- Thoughts that you might be harmed
- Thoughts that you might cause others harm
If one or more of the above symptoms resonates with you, I encourage you to look into ERP treatment for OCD today.