WHAT IS OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by uncontrollable, recurring, and unwanted thoughts. Individuals with OCD may also feel the need to repeat specific behaviors, often for reasons that may seem illogical to others.
While it is normal for everyone to experience mild worries occasionally, the symptoms of OCD are far more severe and consistent. Generally, the behaviors and thoughts caused by OCD interfere with everyday life and relationships, causing significant stress in an individual’s life.
The signs of OCD tend to arrive in childhood or young adulthood, often emerging earlier in boys than girls. Usually, people are diagnosed with OCD in their early twenties, though late diagnoses are sometimes possible.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF OCD
Patients with OCD may suffer from obsessions, compulsions, or a combination of both:
- Obsessions are constant thoughts, mental images, or urges that cause stress or anxiety, such as:
- Fears of losing control over one’s body or behavior
- Fears of injury to self or loved ones
- Fear of germs, illness, or contamination
- Fear of losing or forgetting something
- The need to have things in a certain order or organized symmetrically
- Unwanted thoughts involving harm, religion, or sex
- Compulsions are repeated behaviors caused by a specific obsessive thought, such as:
- Excessive hand washing or cleaning
- Touching or arranging items in a particular manner
- Constantly checking and rechecking things, such as door locks, windows, or appliances
- Counting or recitation of specific words/phrases
It’s important to understand that not all habits are necessarily compulsions and that even if you have ritualistic behaviors, you may or may not have OCD. Typically, OCD patients are characterized as:
- Unable to control their thoughts and behaviors, even if they want to or realize their compulsive nature
- Spending at least an hour per day on compulsive behaviors or obsessive thoughts
- Experiencing brief anxiety relief when completing ritualistic behaviors
- Experiencing negative problems in life and relationships as a result of OCD symptoms
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FOR OCD
Elevate Psychiatry can help you receive a diagnosis and treatment for OCD symptoms, as well as the other conditions that may occur alongside OCD (anxiety, depression, and others).
Depending on your goals and experiences, your OCD treatment may include:
Psychotherapy (“talk therapy”)
Our specialized team can help you reduce your symptoms, manage your OCD, and overcome challenges to live a happy, healthy life.