Every year, over 1% of the adult US population struggles with OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This severe and relatively common disorder impacts individuals and their families in debilitating ways. But, fortunately, treatment for OCD, like that available through Yellowbrick, can help individuals living with this condition manage severe symptoms and obtain mental wellbeing.

What is OCD and is There Treatment for OCD?

OCD is the abbreviation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a mental health disorder definable and diagnosable with the DSM-5, a mental health diagnosis guide. This disorder is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors. Individuals living with this disorder attempt to manage obsessions they experience with compulsive behaviors, finding relief from their symptoms only when compulsive behaviors are used. Understanding more about both obsessions and compulsive behaviors can help individuals living with this condition educate themselves on what they’re living through and why they may have developed this disorder.

Understanding Obsessions that Come With an OCD Diagnosis

Obsessions are unwanted thoughts that people with OCD experience. They can come in many forms and differ from person to person. Some examples of obsessions can include:

  • unwanted, unprovoked, and intrusive thoughts about various subjects (sex, religion, etc.)
  • intense fear of bacteria, germs, or spreading disease
  • feeling a need to have things or to do things in a repetitive and/or counted way

Compulsive Behaviors that Stem from Obsessions for Those with OCD

Once a person with OCD experiences obsessions, they immediately try to control the thought by practicing a compulsive behavior. Essentially, compulsive behaviors are a means to control the obsessions and manage the anxiety that comes with having obsessive thoughts. Some examples of compulsive behaviors can include:

  • cleaning things or oneself over and over again, even after they are already clean
  • ordering, organizing, and placing objects in specific patterns or arrangements
  • counting behaviors or objects, often repeatedly
  • checking objects repeatedly (for example, if the oven is off)
Differentiation Between Compulsive Behaviors and OCD

Everyone may experience compulsive behaviors from time to time. It’s not abnormal for a person to check their door to see if it’s locked a few times. But, there are some differences between normal compulsive behaviors and those experienced by people living with OCD. The difference in compulsatory behavior for people diagnosed with OCD include:

  • not being able to control both intrusive, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, even when one understands that these thoughts and behaviors are interfering with daily functioning
  • conducting compulsive behaviors for at least one hour out of each day
  • experiencing debilitating effects brought on by compulsive behaviors (missing work, relationships problems, etc.)
  • not experiencing any benefit from the compulsive behaviors besides a relief of anxiety brought on by obsessions

Treatment for OCD

For people living with OCD, it may be challenging to live out their lives as they want. This is due to overwhelming obsessions and conducting uncontrollable compulsive behaviors. But, treatment is effective in aiding individuals with tools successful in managing the symptoms brought on by this disorder. Some treatments that are helpful to individuals living with OCD can include:

Psychotherapy: Therapy can help individuals understand why they may be experiencing obsessive thought patterns. And, utilize coping mechanisms which can help to control both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

Psychiatric Medications: Some medications are effective for individuals living with OCD. These medications can help stimulate healthy brain function and reduce anxiety, which can be a contributing factor to both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

Yellowbrick gives people living with OCD and their families productive means of treatment that can allow for the reduction and management of symptoms brought on by OCD. Learn more about how we can help you, your loved one, and your family today.

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