John finally leaves for work, after checking the stove was off ten times, locking the door ten times, and making sure he has exactly ten coffee filters in his cupboards. He’s halfway to work when he’s overcome by the sense that he didn’t actually turn his stove off. He tries to ignore it, but the thought keeps coming back, and his anxiety worsens. Finally, he turns around just to make sure the stove is off. After performing his leaving ritual one more time (oven, door, coffee filter), he’s on his way to work again. He just hopes the new boss won’t try to shake his hand.
In this fictional example, John might have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD Is a consuming disorder that can impact all parts of your life. It is frustrating, terrifying, and confusing.
Why do I have to count in threes every time I drive through a yellow light? I know my spouse won’t actually die in a car crash if I don’t do that, but I can’t seem to stop! Why am I having violent thoughts every time I pass a baby? I would never actually on my intrusive thoughts!
With OCD it can feel like your brain has been hijacked. Of course, you wouldn’t act aggressively, and your loved ones won’t die if you don’t complete that strange ritual. But in the moment, when the thought keeps coming back and your anxiety keeps rising, it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like there is only one way to stop the bad thought from coming true, and that is to engage in some sort of ritual. Thriveworks Willow Grove understands how impairing OCD can be, made even more so by its isolating features. It can feel like you’re fighting this alone. Our Thriveworks counselors are here so you don’t have to anymore! Together, we can win back control of your mind and your life.
What Is OCD?
OCD is defined by an obsession (a thought) that causes so much anxiety it can only be stopped by a compulsion (a ritual or action). The urge to complete this behavior is so strong it overrides any other rational thoughts.
Despite the stereotypes perpetuated by the media and society, OCD is not just needing everything clean and organized. This may be part of it, but it goes farther than “being so OCD.” It is a vicious thought that causes so much anxiety, you have to have everything clean and organized. If you don’t, something awful might happen.
OCD obsessions are not always centered around being neat, orderly, or germ-free. Although these are some of the most common obsessions, there are many other obsessions. Oftentimes, people will have more than one, adding to the fear and frustration around the disorder.
At its worse, OCD can prevent people from going to work or school, isolate themselves from friends and family, and the compulsions can take up every minute of the day. But there is hope! With some professional guidance from Thriveworks Willow Grove, you can be free of your OCD. The symptoms of OCD can be broken up into the two parts: obsessions and compulsions. Common obsessions include:
- Repeated unwanted ideas
- Fear of contamination
- Aggressive impulses
- Persistent sexual thoughts
- Images of hurting someone you love
- Thoughts that you might cause others harm
- Thoughts that you might be harmed
These are just some of the common thoughts you might be experiencing. They can be extremely frightening and difficult to stop on your own. But Thriveworks Willow Grove, we can stop the obsessions before they cause too much anxiety. Common compulsions include:
- Constant checking
- Constant counting
- The repeated cleaning of one or more items
- Repeatedly washing your hands
- Constantly checking the stove, door locks, or windows
- Arranging items to face a certain way
Again, the compulsions are very diverse and will be different for every person struggling with OCD.
What does treatment look like?
Willow Grove Thriveworks adheres to a client-first therapy model, so our focus will always be on you! Your personal frustrations, obsessions, and compulsions. Together, we want to help build that life you’ve always dreamed about, but OCD got in the way of you having.
The two common paths of therapy are medication and talk therapy. Medication can get a bad rap, but with OCD, it can be very helpful. OCD is oftentimes a highly biological disorder, and the chemical imbalances can worsen symptoms. Therefore, medication can be crucial in recovery. We can help you walk the tricky path of getting the right medication and dosage.
The second part is where Thriveworks Willow Grove has its specialty: talk therapy. We can pinpoint those obsessions and work with you to stop them in their tracks, before they can wreak havoc. It’s not easy, but it is possible. If you’re ready to get the freedom you deserve, give Thriveworks Willow Grove a call. We are excited to meet you and begin this path of healing and growth!
Schedule an Appointment at Thriveworks Willow Grove
Thriveworks Willow Grove offers both daytime and evening hours. There is no waiting list and we accept most major insurance plans and offer affordable rates. We are located in Montgomery County, so if you are looking for OCD counseling in Willow Grove, OCD Counseling in Abington, OCD Counseling in Jenkintown or OCD in Huntingdon Valley, our office will be convenient for you. Take back your life by contacting us today at 267-685-3197.