Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by recurring, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions can significantly interfere with daily activities, relationships, and overall well-being. We’re here to help you understand your obsessions and compulsions and learn about how to modify your thoughts and actions to live a life less defined by OCD.
What is OCD?
Obsessions can take the form of intrusive thoughts or images, fear of contamination or germs, unwanted thoughts of harm or aggression, and excessive concern with order and exactness. These obsessions often result in repetitive behaviors that are performed to reduce anxiety or prevent a feared outcome. Examples may include excessive cleaning or handwashing, checking behaviors like repeatedly ensuring doors are locked or appliances are turned off, counting, repeating words or phrases, or arranging objects in a specific way.
The Impact of OCD
OCD symptoms can strain relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners due to the time-consuming nature of rituals and the distress caused by obsessions. The need to perform compulsions or intrusive thoughts can also interfere with your concentration, productivity, and overall performance in work or school settings. Emotionally, individuals with OCD often experience high levels of anxiety, stress, and frustration due to the distressing and intrusive nature of their obsessions.
Counseling for OCD
Counseling can be an effective way to improve your OCD symptoms and quality of life. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), has proven to be a highly effective form of psychotherapy for OCD. CBT for OCD focuses on challenging and restructuring negative thought patterns while gradually exposing individuals to their fears (Exposure and Response Prevention, or ERP). CBT helps individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and reduce the impact of OCD on their lives.
Living a Fulfilling Life with OCD
While OCD can feel overwhelming, many individuals with OCD are able to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.
Aside from counseling, are some strategies that can help:
- Prioritize self-care activities, such as engaging in relaxation exercises, getting enough sleep, eating well-balanced meals, and engaging in regular physical activity.
- Learn stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness to help manage anxiety and distress.
- Surround yourself with supportive family, friends, and mental health professionals who understand OCD and can provide guidance and encouragement.
If you or a loved one have suspected or diagnosed OCD, we’re here to help. Several counselors at Fash Counseling are experienced in working with clients who have OCD to help them live happier and more fulfilling lives, less encumbered by obsessions and compulsions. Please contact us so we can match you with a counselor who can meet your unique needs.