What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life, and occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease his or her distress.
Most people have obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors at some point in their lives, but that does not mean that we all have some OCD. In order for a mental health diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder to be made, this cycle of obsessions and compulsions must become so extreme that it consumes a lot of time and gets in the way of important activities that the person values.
The exact causes of OCD have not been fully determined, but a variety of theories point to the possibility that a person with OCD may have an inherited predisposition to the disorder. It can also be treated genetically but not entirely eliminated. The majority of OCD sufferers do not experience symptoms until they reach a certain age in their life, usually between the ages of 10 and their early 20s.
OCD Therapy in Media, PA
Whether you are a child, adolescent, or an adult, if you feel like your obsessions and compulsions are getting in the way of your life, obsessive-compulsive treatment may be for you.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder therapy is a method for dealing with the anxiety and phobias that are often associated with OCD. OCD is a disorder characterized by repeated, intrusive thoughts and actions. While some people deal with it with just medication, others turn to therapy.
Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Most treatments for OCD focus on identifying and eliminating fears and anxieties. In addition, the therapist will teach you how to recognize and respond to stress so that the anxiety is kept at bay. For example, if you worry about public speaking and you try to fight it off, you might end up losing the ability to speak in front of people. The goal of therapy is to help you overcome your fears so that you do not have to live with the anxiety and panic that come along with it.
While there is no definite medical treatment for OCD, most patients find that medications are helpful. However, they should only be used under the supervision of a physician and under the proper prescription. It is important that you educate yourself about the effects and side effects of any medications that you use. It is important that you seek medical advice from a qualified and certified practitioner before starting any treatment regimen. If you think you have a serious medical problem or condition, you should consult your doctor and/or pharmacist before beginning any type of treatment.
Natural treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder have become more popular, and are often a better choice than pharmaceutical medications. Herbal treatments for OCD can be effective and have fewer side effects. These remedies can be administered in a number of ways, which is a good thing because many of the medicines that we use for treating our illnesses come in the form of pills, creams, or sprays.
What does OCD feel like?
Imagine that your mind got stuck on a certain thought or image.
Then, imagine this thought or image got replayed in your mind over and over again no matter what you did. You don’t want these thoughts. It feels involuntary. It feels like there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
These incessant thoughts create intense feelings of anxiety. Anxiety is your brain’s alarm system to warn you of danger, and OCD occurs when this alarm system breaks and sees harmless things as threats. And even if you logically know that this fear isn’t reasonable, it still feels very real and intense.
Why would you have these feelings if they weren’t true? Feelings don’t lie, right? Unfortunately, if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, they can lie. If you have OCD, the warning system in your brain is not working correctly. Your brain is telling you that you are in danger when, in fact, you are not. A specialized obsessive-compulsive disorder therapist can help you recognize these lies and manage your unhealthy compulsive behaviors.*
*Adapted from The International OCD Foundation’s “What You Need to Know About Obsessive Compulsion Disorder”.