Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder affecting millions of Americans. A person with OCD has unreasonable thoughts or fears (obsessions) that leads them to repeat behaviors (compulsions) over and over again. It is a vicious cycle of using a certain behavior to control the irrational thoughts or fears, but sadly the thoughts and fears to do not go away. This type of disorder is debilitating and can easily take control over a person’s life.
What are some common obsessions of OCD?
- Fear of germs, contamination, or dirt
- A need for exactness, order, or symmetry
- Aggressiveness, thinking evil thoughts, or causing harm to others
- Sexual thoughts or impulses
What are some common compulsions of OCD?
- Fear of touching others or objects that have been touched by others
- Excessive bathing or hand washing
- Counting aloud or silently while repeating a regular task
- Performing the same task over and over again
- Rechecking (For example: Locks on a door)
OCD could be caused by biological factors or by environment. Regardless of the cause, if you suspect you have OCD you should seek help to dramatically improve the quality of your life. Psychotherapy and medication are available treatment options. Seeking the help of a doctor and mental health care professional will help to decipher what is the best treatment for you as an individual. Avoiding drugs and alcohol is also very important. Many with OCD turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism, but it will only worsen the symptoms. If you live in the Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA and would like professional help to cope with OCD, contact my office for more information.
For more information on Anxiety Disorders, visit Coping with Anxiety Disorders on my website.