Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves having obsessive thinking patterns which include unwanted thoughts, images or urges which cause anxiety and distress.
Individuals with OCD often have significant difficulty pushing away or ignoring these thoughts. Those with OCD also have compulsions/rituals (behavioral or mental) which are an attempt to reverse or neutralize the obsessive thoughts or urges. The more a person ritualizes or tries to push away these thoughts, the more intense and frequent they become. Obsessive thoughts can widely vary in content and are often “ego dystonic”, meaning not aligned with the individual’s personality, values, or behaviors.
Common signs of OCD are:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Constant checking
- Constant counting
- 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
- Visceral feelings of disgust from various sources
- Seeking constant reassurance from loved ones or professionals
- “What if” thoughts without solutions and are frequent
If one or more of the above symptoms resonates with you, I encourage you to contact me for a complimentary consultation. Research shows that the most effective treatments for OCD are Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Medications are sometimes indicated for augmentation depending on severity of symptoms.