04 Dec What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Posted at 8:41 pm in News by jlbworks

Psychologist for obsessive-compulsive disorder Nashville, TN

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a form of an anxiety disorder where individuals have continuous thoughts, fears, and sensations–commonly referred to as obsessions–that lead to compulsive behavior. These compulsive behaviors are typically very repetitive and can significantly impede social interactions and daily activities. If you are looking for a psychologist for obsessive-compulsive disorder in Nashville, TN, contact Dr. Phil Chanin, today. Dr. Chanin is a licensed and board-certified clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to adults, couples, and groups in Nashville.

While obsessive-compulsive disorder can be a major obstacle for many individuals, those with it recognize that their behavior is unconventional, yet they are very much unable to stop their compulsive thoughts and behaviors. However, if there is a disruption in their repetitive rituals, it could cause severe anxiety and distress. Diagnosing OCD in an individual requires the presence of compulsions and obsessions that are time-consuming, cause significant levels of stress and torment, interfere with their job, and impair their social life. Living with OCD can cause many hardships, but there are excellent forms of treatment that can help manage it.

Treating OCD

While obsessive thoughts can be debilitating, it’s truly the compulsions that interfere with one’s life. Although each individual’s compulsions vary, the following are common examples of OCD compulsions:

  • Excessive cleaning/fear of germs
  • Repeating the same behaviors and activities multiple times
  • Constant checking
  • Ordering and arranging

Individuals adapt to these compulsions in order to reduce and even prevent the feeling of anxiety, stress, and loss of control. While these compulsions may make individuals with OCD feel like they have control over their distress, it’s their compulsions that have control over them. However, treating OCD is very possible, and as long as the patient is willing, progress can surely be made.

The most common and effective forms of treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure to Response Prevention (ERP). Medication is also a helpful form of treatment for OCD, but always should be taken alongside therapy. The most effective treatment out of these three options is ERP. ERP has the strongest evidence supporting its treatment for OCD. Executed by a psychologist or other medical professional, ERP treats individuals by ‘exposing’ them to their fears–images and objects that cause them anxiety leading to their compulsions. Depending on the severity of the case, ERP can be a slow process but certainly effective if implemented on a regimented basis.

If you are someone you know suffers from OCD, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talking to a reputable psychologist is a step in the right direction for treating your OCD.