DO I HAVE OCD?
People love to say “I’m so OCD!” when they are describing themselves, because perhaps they are a neat freak or they really like everything to be just so. This does not necessarily mean you have OCD, perhaps you just feel better when you have control over your surroundings.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is when a person has reoccurring thoughts which drive repetitive behaviors. If the repetitive behaviors are not performed (these are often called rituals), there is a very real feared consequence that brings about enormous anxiety. If you think that you or someone you love may be suffering from OCD, you probably realize how debilitating this disorder is to live with. OCD generally does not just get better on its own, unfortunately it usually gets worse and people who are suffering from this disorder find their OCD begins to control more and more of their time. Life becomes a vicious cycle of performing more and more rituals, or perhaps avoiding situations, thoughts, people or words that trigger the obsessions.
People who suffer from OCD spend much of their time worrying that something bad will happen, or perhaps they may be responsible for something bad happening to someone else. Sometimes they have intrusive thoughts about religious subjects, taboo sexual acts, cleanliness, organization, driving, or even the end of the world. OCD begins to take over the way people live their lives, and those who suffer from it find their OCD has begun to rule their life.
The most effective treatment for OCD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and a technique called Exposure and Response Prevention. The combination of these two therapies have been proven to be the most effective treatment for OCD. It can feel terrifying to expose yourself to something that most frightens you, however when treatment is done slowly and with a therapist who is supporting you, clients usually find that they are able to tackle more than they imagined.
We will set specific and measurable goals, and will practice confronting, rather than avoiding feared situations that arise. We will also work together to correct mistaken beliefs that lead to your obsessions.
Relief from your obsessions and rituals is absolutely possible, and you will regain control over your life. It just takes the courage to reach out and ask for help.