Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition in which the individual experiences unwanted and repetitive thoughts that persist despite efforts to push them away. These thoughts are known as obsessions. People with OCD may also engage in behaviors meant to decrease their anxiety or “undo” their obsessions. These behaviors are compulsions. Although compulsive behaviors are not always logically related to obsessions, individuals with OCD feel compelled to engage in these behaviors, which provide short term relief, but increase their anxiety in the long term. Symptoms of OCD vary widely, but may include one or more of the following:
- Excessive fear of germs
- Repetitive washing of body or hands, lengthy cleaning rituals
- Repetitive thoughts about harming loved ones, without a desire to act
- Repetitive prayers or religious actions, preoccupation with being immoral or blasphemous
- Checking and re-checking, such as to be certain that doors and windows are locked, and oven, lights or other appliances are off
- Distress about lack of symmetry or organization
- Excessive efforts to order objects or arrange surroundings
- Preoccupation with counting, magic numbers, specific colors or sequences of movement
- Repetitive concerns that one is not the sexuality or gender with which they identify (e.g., if heterosexual, believes they are secretly homosexual despite evidence to the contrary)
- Other obsessions or compulsions that lead to severe anxiety or disrupt daily life
We at The OCD & Anxiety Center specialize in the treatment of this pervasive mental health condition, and have the necessary training and resources to deliver evidence-based treatment to OCD sufferers of all ages, as well as those with comorbid Autism Spectrum Disorders as well as other mental health issues. We use Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) in the treatment of OCD, as this is the therapy treatment which has proven most effective for OCD as well as other anxiety disorders. Through ERP, individuals with OCD learn to face their anxiety while decreasing their compulsions, helping them gradually gain their lives back from OCD. Please see our Exposure and Response Prevention page for further information. We also offer intensive treatment options for individuals suffering from severe OCD, with the ability to meet with a therapist anywhere from twice a week to multiple hours each day in order to make progress quickly and return to work, school, and everyday life. Please see our Individualized IOP page for more information. We have often worked successfully with people who have been in treatment for many years or people who have not benefited as much as they would like from treatment in the past. We find that they, unfortunately, have not been engaged in evidence-based therapy or had a sufficient dose of it.
We at The OCD & Anxiety Center take pride in treating people with more difficult symptoms or presentations. If you or someone you know would benefit from our specialized OCD treatment services, please reach out to us at (630) 522-3124 today!