Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by distressing thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions) that are time-consuming, difficult to control, and cause clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning.
Obsessions are unwanted and recurrent thoughts, images, or urges that cause anxiety or distress. Common themes are contamination, losing control in some way, fear of harm to self or others, violent or sexual thoughts, perfectionism and the need for symmetry.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors, thoughts or rituals that an individual engages in as an attempt to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. The hope is to either neutralize the obsession or prevent a dreaded occurrence of some kind. Compulsions often fall into the following categories: cleaning/washing, checking, repeating, arranging/ordering, and covert (mental) rituals.
Use of the compulsion following a troubling thought often results in short-term anxiety reduction, which causes the individual to believe the ritualistic behavior needs to be carried out again when the obsession returns. This cycle of obsessions and compulsions becomes so severe and time consuming that it interferes with daily functioning.
The cycle can be debilitating, leaving an individual feeling overwhelmed, helpless and trapped. If you think you may be suffering from OCD, please reach out to us to schedule an appointment and we will be happy to help you regain control of your life.