Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Presents with these Signs
Many people joke about having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but if you or your loved one has OCD it’s no laughing matter. OCD can clinically be broken down into two components. The obsessions part means that a person has repeated thoughts, urges or mental pictures that cause anxious feelings. They range from a fear of germs or getting contaminated, to seeing things around them as disorganized and out-of-place, thoughts of aggressive behavior towards others or themselves, and battling unwanted mental images that are sexual, harmful or religion-based.
The compulsions component refers to an individual with OCD having to repetitively act out certain behaviors in response to urges they have stemming from the obsessive part of their impairment. Those compulsive behaviors can include excessive hand washing or general cleaning, arranging items in a specific and precise fashion, counting repetitively, or constantly checking on the status of something around them like whether their home’s lights are on. These are also clinically referred to as “rituals”. People who experience OCD, which is about one percent of the adult U.S. population, may try to avoid certain situations that trigger their obsessions, or turn to drugs and alcohol to calm down. Children can also face the challenges of OCD, and over time parents or teachers tend to first recognize the issue.
Symptoms of OCD Include These
In addition to the signs of OCD mentioned above, if you or your loved one has this disorder it tends to present with these symptoms:
- Spend at least one hour per day on their compulsive behaviors
- Their daily lives include serious problems related to their thoughts and behaviors
- Inability to control their thoughts and behaviors even when they recognize they are excessive
- No pleasure is derived from their behaviors but they do experience a brief respite from the anxiety brought on by their obsessive thoughts
These symptoms can come and go, ease up over time, or conversely they can get progressively worse. Some people with OCD may develop a persistent motor or vocalized tic. Vocal tics are things like repetitive throat-clearing, grunting or sniffing. Motor tics show up through sudden, quick repetitive body movements like an eye twitch. OCD has no known cause but certain risk factors seem to exist including genetics, childhood stress and trauma, and actual physical brain developmental differences in the frontal cortex and subcortical regions.
Treatments for OCD Include Outpatient Counseling
If you or your loved one has OCD, mental health professionals typically treat it with medications, counseling or a combination of both. What needs to be taken into consideration is whether the OCD-affected individual also has other mental disorders like depression, anxiety, or body dysmorphic disorder, which means a person falsely perceives that part of their body is abnormal. Medications utilized to treat OCD include serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Outpatient counseling, or coaching, approaches that have shown promise in children to adults with OCD include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and other similar therapies such as habit reversal training. Researchers have also found that a type of CBT referred to as Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) also shows promise in counteracting compulsive behaviors. It is becoming an effective adjunctive counseling resource in addition to other methods. The bottom line is that when you or someone you love is being challenged by OCD there are effective treatments available including outpatient coaching services.
Thriveworks Henrico Counselors and Nurse Practitioners Understand OCD
As we’ve seen, when you or someone you care about experiences OCD it can cause other unhealthy conditions. Left unchecked, OCD can have a negative effect on your daily activities including relationships, schooling and job performance. You don’t have to go it alone any longer. At Thriveworks Henrico, VA our compassionate and helpful Counselors and Nurse Practitioners understand OCD and will work with you in an effort to overcome its tight grip as you progress towards a more positive outlook on life. For more information on our OCD coaching services, or how to become a certified Thriveworks Short Pump coach, call: (804) 205-3408 today or visit our Contact page now.