Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder.
A person suffering from OCD has recurring intrusive thoughts which they cannot control. Individuals with OCD may also have compulsive behaviors that they perform in order to relieve the anxiety associated with their intrusive thoughts. Many people think of OCD as connected to cleanliness or perfectionism, but this isn’t always the case.
Depending on the obsessive thoughts, the person suffering from OCD may respond by:
Texting a loved one repeatedly within a short time period to make sure they’re okay
Frequently cleaning self or surroundings
Arranging things precisely
Repeatedly checking door locks, gas and electric appliances or other safety measures
A person suffering from OCD feels that they are not in control of their intrusive thoughts or associated compulsive behaviors. Sometimes the sufferer believes that if they do not perform certain actions it will place them or their loved ones in danger. OCD may be accompanied by feelings of guilt or a sense of excessive responsibility for the safety and welfare of others.
How Many People Suffer with OCD?
Statistics show around 1 to 3 percent of adults and one in 200 children in the U.S. have OCD. Women tend to be more affected by OCD than men. Individuals who suffer with OCD have varying symptoms and levels of impairment, ranging from mildly impaired to severely dysfunctional.
Many people repeat actions such as checking door locks or making sure the gas range is turned off. However, an individual with OCD can spend multiple hours per day on managing intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. This affects their ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Individuals with OCD cannot control such thoughts and behaviors, even when they recognize that they are not helpful. Affected individuals do not get pleasure from performing the compulsive acts, but feel that they must continue to do so in order to control their anxiety level or combat a perceived threat.
What Causes OCD?
Like most psychiatric disorders, OCD is usually caused by a combination of genetic vulnerability and environmental or psychological factors. Early childhood trauma such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse may contribute to the development of OCD. In some cases children develop OCD following a streptococcal infection. This phenomenon is known as PANDAS.
OCD often responds well to treatment, which can include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Individuals who receive appropriate treatment for OCD can often go on to live healthy lives. Seeking treatment early, and staying connected with comprehensive, evidence based approaches can increase the likelihood of sustained recovery. Treatment of co-occurring mental health or substance use disorders is also critical.
Untreated OCD, and the resulting impact on one’s functioning, can unfortunately rob individuals of valuable time that could be better spent on relationships, work, and leisure.
OCD Diagnosis and Treatment
Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be challenging to appropriately diagnose. As a result, it is critical to get a comprehensive evaluation from an experienced team of mental health professionals. Steps to diagnose OCD may include:
A medical history and physical exam
A psychiatric and psychological evaluation
Treatment usually includes therapy, medication or a combination of both. An experienced treatment team can help you identify the appropriate medications and therapeutic approaches that are most likely to support your emotional recovery and sustained well-being.
The Mental Health Collective Offers Treatment for OCD
At the Mental Health Collective, we are dedicated to helping each patient who comes to us for healing to go beyond symptom reduction to achieve a balanced, fulfilling and joyful daily life.
All individuals seeking treatment receive comprehensive bio-psycho-social evaluation by a board-certified psychiatrist and a licensed psychologist. We tailor your treatment strategy to your individual diagnosis, needs, and treatment goals.
The Mental Health Collective utilizes an integrative evidence based treatment approach. In addition to appropriate medications and therapy, you may participate in activities such as:
Our Newport Beach treatment center includes both residential and outpatient services, to fully accommodate each patient’s unique needs.
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone. Help is available.
For more information on how we can help you, we invite you to call the Mental Health Collective at 888-717-9355. We are here for you.