Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that causes repeated, unwanted thoughts or sensations (obsessions). It can also be the urge to do something over and over (compulsions).
These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily life and cause significant distress.
Let’s discuss some of the indicators a person may be dealing with Obsession Compulsive Disorder. This is a list of some of the most common signs. Some of the outward signs may be more obvious to others. Many of them are the internal though processes that run through your thoughts and mind.
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* Repetitive Behaviors: Do you do the same things over and over? Is there a pattern you have to follow for how things are done?
* Excessive Double-checking: Do you check locks, appliances, switches, even if there is no reason?
* Extreme Cleanliness or Hygiene Rituals: Do you wash your hands, or show, or clean over and over? Do others think it’s longer than necessary?
* Order & Symmetry: Are things lined up in a certain way or order? If they are not like that, do you feel compelled to fix or are extremely uncomfortable if you don’t?
* Hoarding Behaviors: Do you have a hard time throwing things away you don’t need?
* Recurrent, Unwanted Thoughts: Do you have persistent, unwanted and intrusive thoughts? Are they ones you can’t control? Fears of contamination, excessive concern about order or fear of harm coming to you or others.
* Mental Rituals: Do you go through mental acts like counting or silently repeating certain words?
* Avoidance: Are there places, situations or objects you try to avoid?
* Time-Consuming Rituals: Are you spending too much time each day on ritualistic behaviors or thoughts?
* Impairment: Are the rituals interfering with daily activities or your work? What about social interactions or thoughts?
If you feel any of these are negatively impacting your. l ife, it can be time to seek professional help.
The treatments for OCD have advanced significantly. Several therapy methods have proven effective. The best treatment often depends on the individual’s specific symptoms. It is also based on the severity and personal preference.
* Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): CBT is one of the most effective treatments for OCD. It focuses on changing the negative thought patterns that fuel obsessions and compulsions.
* Exposure and Responsive Prevention (ERP): ERP a type of CBT, is considered the gold standard for OCD treatment. It involves exposing the individual to situations that trigger their OCD. Then they are taught to resist the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors. Over time, this process reduces the anxiety associated with the obsessions. This allow for less engagement of compulsive behaviors.
* Medication (in conjunction with a medical professional) & Therapy: Often, a combination of medication and therapy is more effective than either treatment alone. This approaches addresses key factors. The thought processes and the chemical might contribute to OCD. Certain types of medications are are effective in treating OCD. They are primarily selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors 9SSRI) and used along with therapy.
* Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): This therapy helps individuals accept their thoughts. They are taught not to act on them impulsively. It emphasizes mindfulness and acceptance strategies. This helps individuals engage in values-based actions instead of compulsive behaviors.
* Family Therapy: OCD not only affects the individual, it also impacts the family. Family therapy educates family members about OCD. They learn how to support the client without enabling the compulsions.
* Mindfulness: Using Mindfulness, along with CBT, can help to stay in the present moment. Individuals can accept thoughts and feelings without judgment. Yoga also increases awareness and control over intrusive thoughts.
* Lifestyle Changes: Regular exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy diet can improve mental health. It can also help manage OCD symptoms. Avoiding alcohol and drugs is also important, as they can worsen OCD behaviors.
Understanding the nature of obsessions and compulsions is crucial in seeking the right treatment. It’s important for individuals with OCD to work closely with healthcare professionals. They will help develop a treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.
Recovery from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder varies from person to person. With appropriate treatment, people with OCD can achieve substantial relief from their symptoms. They can begin to lead full, productive lives.
Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It is the first step towards overcoming the challenges of OCD.
Pathways Counseling Services and our trained counselors, are here and ready to work with you as you begin your journey for improved mental health.
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Yes, we offer a free 15-minute telephone consultation. Please call us at 480-613-8530 to schedule a consultation or complete this contact form.
Our practice is a fee-for-service practice which means we do not accept insurance. If you have an insurance provider with behavioral health coverage, they may offer out-of-network coverage. If you would like to use your out-of-network benefits, we will provide you with a superbill (receipt) that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Prior to your first session, you will fill out some general information. We will you a link to complete the form(s) prior to your first session.
During the initial appointment, we will review some of your histories and we will have an opportunity to discuss the reasons you are interested in counseling and the goals you are looking to achieve from counseling.
Together during the first few sessions we will put together a treatment plan with you.
Most patients come in for weekly appointments. As you are feeling better, you can cut back on the frequency of the sessions so you have more time to practice what you are learning.
Initial sessions are 75 minutes ongoing sessions may be 45-75 minutes or longer depending on need.
Patients who work with us report improvements in a few sessions. More difficult issues may take longer. People come to therapy for different reasons but universally people don’t initiate counseling unless they are in some type of emotional pain. Our attitude is to try to make every session count.
We welcome couples, children, adolescents, teens, and individuals of diverse backgrounds, cultures, religious traditions, and lifestyles.
We will be able to work with you using a variety of tools and techniques and specialize in a variety of issues and concerns.
All client-therapist conversations are private and confidential. In those rare exceptions when the safety of a client or other is at risk disclosure of confidential client-therapist information takes place.