Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

What is OCD?

OCD is a condition that causes an individual to have intrusive thoughts of a frightening, disturbing, or nonsensical nature, which in turn may cause the person to do things repeatedly in an attempt to get rid of the thoughts. They might perform certain rituals to guard against danger, or to clean or check oneself or personal areas of home or work again and again.

What are some of the symptoms of OCD?

Symptoms and behaviors associated with OCD vary. The primary thing they have in common is they are generally unwanted behaviors and/or thoughts that occur very frequently — i.e.. many times a day. Symptoms, if untreated, sometimes progress to the point of taking up all of a sufferer’s waking hours.

Some of the symptoms and behaviors may include, but are not limited to:

  • Checking things repeatedly, such as doors, locks, stoves, etc.
  • Constant counting, “in one’s head” or outwardly, while performing routine tasks.
  • “Having” to do things a certain number of times.
  • Obsessively arranging things in an extremely orderly fashion – which often makes no sense to anyone besides the OCD sufferer.
  • Pictures, words or images – usually of a disturbing nature – that “pop” into one’s head and won’t go away.
  • Nonsensical words or phrases repeating themselves in the person’s mind.
  • Hoarding of objects with usually no apparent value
  • Excessive fear of contamination

If I have any of these symptoms or behaviors, does it mean that I have OCD?

That depends upon the degree to which the symptoms or behaviors interfere with your thinking, reasoning, and functioning. Working with an experienced clinician can help determine if you suffer from OCD.

Is OCD considered to be an anxiety disorder?

Yes, OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder. The obsessions cause anxiety, which result in a need to perform compulsions which provides temporary relief.

What are some of the treatment methods for OCD?

The two most effective treatments for OCD are drug therapy and behavioral therapy.

What medications are used for drug therapy?

The most effective medications for OCD are the SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) such as Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, and Zoloft, as well as the tricyclic antidepressant Anafranil. Other medications are frequently added to improve the effect.

I think I may need treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive disorder. When can I begin?

MPP is committed to getting you help when you need it. Click here to schedule an appointment with a psychiatric specialist.

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