Are Intrusive Thoughts And Fears Disrupting Your Life?
Do unwanted thoughts and images continuously enter your mind? Are you feeling compelled to engage in actions and behaviors that do not make sense to you to make those fears go away?
Perhaps these thoughts and behaviors make it difficult for you to do your job, engage with family and friends, or participate in life the way you desire. Or maybe everyday activities have become so difficult that you often avoid them to eliminate the anxiety they produce.
OCD Is Not Just Compulsive Hand Washing—It Is So Much More
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is made up of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions show up as unwanted images, thoughts, or urges that cause distress and anxiety. Compulsions, on the other hand, are behaviors aimed at reducing the anxiety or distress that obsessions produce. They can be mental or physical.
Perhaps you are experiencing intrusive, unwanted thoughts about dying from contamination, harming a loved one or yourself, or offending God. Perhaps, you have constant concerns that you may not be the gender with which you identify or distress about a lack of symmetry.
OCD can quickly take over your life, leaving you feeling exhausted, hopeless, and defeated. Fortunately, with help from a compassionate therapist, you can learn proper management of your OCD. Treatment at the OCD and Anxiety Center is designed to help you take charge of your intrusive thoughts and reduce the need to engage in compulsions.
Though Uncertainty Is A Normal Part Of Life, The Fear Of It Does Not Need To Be
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that OCD affects 2.5 million adults or 1.2% of the US population, with women being affected three times more than men.¹
People with OCD often feel very alone and misunderstood, especially those suffering from some of OCD’s more taboo themes.
Genetics And The Environment Play A Huge Role In The Development Of OCD
Both biological and behavioral components can contribute to OCD. If you have a relative or loved one that struggles with OCD, you are at a higher risk of developing it or another anxiety disorder.
OCD can also be organic or related to issues in the brain. Compulsions often become learned behaviors through repetition and continuous pairing, which fortunately means that these behaviors can also be unlearned.
Even though we may not know exactly what triggers OCD, we can still treat it effectively. Counseling can help you to identify intrusive thoughts and provide you with the skills needed to resist the compulsions and break the cycle that OCD and anxiety have created.
OCD Treatment Can Help You Lead A Happy, Stable Life
Reaching out and getting help is a step that requires so much bravery. Seeking help is not easy but important. OCD often continues to grow and can become more challenging the longer it is present.
In therapy, you will learn about the symptoms of OCD, what maintains it, and how to fight it. You will work with your counselor to gradually face fears and resist OCD compulsions. The long-term goal is to help you live a happier, healthier life not dictated by obsessions or compulsions.
What To Expect From OCD Treatment Sessions
In our treatment sessions, we focus on helping you learn how to acknowledge your OCD. Sessions are structured and skills-based and focused on providing you with information about your OCD. With these details, we will create an individualized treatment plan.
Therapy may also involve your loved ones with your permission so they can also learn how to respond and most effectively help you manage your OCD. Sometimes, supportive others accidentally say or do things that maintain OCD or make it worse. Everyone needs to learn how to handle OCD, helping to make sure that they are not reinforcing, reassuring, or accommodating it accidentally.
Your therapist will help you face fears, systematically and gradually. The more you face your fears without engaging in compulsions, the more they will lose power. You will eventually learn that they are just thoughts, and you do not need to pay attention to them.
Your sessions may take place in our office, your home, or the community—wherever is therapeutically necessary. In addition, based on your needs and the severity of your symptoms, we might recommend multiple sessions a week. As progress is made, sessions are gradually reduced.
OCD Treatment Methods
We use different approaches to treat people with OCD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are the most common and effective methods.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps to identify and change problematic emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Our therapists will show you how to identify intrusive thoughts, create motivation for change, and adapt your behavior so that you are not reinforcing OCD.
Exposure Response Prevention is a sub-category of CBT and is the gold standard, front-line treatment for OCD. It involves facing your fears gradually, repeatedly, and for an extended amount of time so that you get used to them. At the same time, you will learn skills for reducing compulsions. Once you get used to the fear, your anxiety subsides, and you realize that you can handle it.
DBT is a form of CBT that focuses on developing emotional control and management techniques. It effectively teaches people how to handle the stresses of daily life and how to be able to tolerate engaging in ERP.
Another particular kind of CBT called ACT can assist you in identifying and disengaging from anxious thoughts by naming them without judgment. It also teaches you how to externalize your OCD from yourself, perceiving it as something independent and distinct from who you are. ACT teaches people how to stay attentive and focused on the present; one way we do this is through mindfulness.
Our ultimate goal is to facilitate a positive change in your life, where you learn to feel calm and relaxed, while healthily managing the symptoms of OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is highly treatable, and seeking therapy will be worth it.
You May Be Considering OCD Treatment But Have More Questions…
Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) sounds scary to me. What if I cannot do it?
Many people who start treatment are worried about whether they can handle ERP. This is a normal feeling. Anything that you are asked to do outside of the session will be completed in session first. Exposures are done gradually and systematically. Your therapist will work with you to design exposures that are tolerable. Our goal is to help you feel successful.
We know that OCD tells you that you cannot do it, so we will be with you every step of the way ensuring that we challenge those thoughts. We are very confident that ERP is an effective and safe treatment model and feel strongly that, with the right dose, you can learn to manage your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
What if my loved one will not engage in OCD Treatment?
Often, loved ones are resistant to engaging in treatment. During this process, we can work with supportive others to provide education and information about OCD (how to talk about it, how to help family members engage in the treatment), review environmental factors that contribute to it and help families reduce these factors.
How long does the therapy take before I begin to see results?
Our clients can see improvement fairly quickly as each session is meant to build on the previous session. It is not the type of therapy in which you may attend without seeing progress. It is meant to be time-limited and goal-oriented.
You Can Live A Relaxed Life, Not Controlled By OCD
If OCD is preventing you from living the life you want to live, treatment with The OCD & Anxiety Center can provide you with the tools to heal and manage your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. To address further concerns or schedule an appointment, please call us at 630-522-3124 or email us at email@example.com. If you would like additional information, please consider reading our newsletter or blog.