What is OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people who suffer from OCD have frequent and upsetting thoughts called obsessions. A person with OCD attempts to control these obsessions by repeating certain ritualized activities called compulsions. The obsessions and compulsions can’t be controlled and severely interfere with daily life.

How does OCD happen?

No one knows for sure what causes OCD, but it is believed OCD may run in families. Most often, symptoms of OCD develop in childhood and early adolescence, although in some cases they may begin in adulthood.

What are common symptoms of OCD?

A person with OCD experiences irrational and unwanted thoughts, fears, feelings, or behaviors and tries to manage them through ritualized activities that interfere with daily life. Symptoms may include:

  • Repeated and uncontrollable thoughts (e.g., thoughts of violence, fear of germs)
  • Continued practice of the same rituals over and over as a way of managing these thoughts (e.g., checking and rechecking locked doors, repeated hand washing)
  • Overall time spent on thoughts and rituals in excess of one hour a day

What is the treatment for OCD?

Treatment for OCD depends on the unique situation of the patient. Mind Life Matters offers a number of treatment options for OCD. In addition to more traditional methods of therapy, we also offer in vivo exposure therapy, the goal of which is to promote a healthy processing of negativity caused by certain objects, situations, or activities. During in vivo exposure therapy, our trained clinicians work with clients to repeatedly confront these forces and eventually discard the negative feelings they impose. If you feel you may be suffering from OCD, we encourage you to request a consultation by clicking here. Alternatively, you can call us at (336) 791-2311.