30 Dec Is it Time to Seek Treatment for Your OCD?
Posted at 2:42 pm in Uncategorized by jlbworks
As humans, we all experience anxiety. Recognizing those feelings of dread that occur naturally in response to various types of stress is not unknown to many individuals. Many circumstances can trigger anxiety, such as an upcoming test, making a major decision, or meeting someone new. However, for someone living with an anxiety disorder, such as OCD, these feelings don’t disappear and often manifest into symptoms that may interfere with relationships, work performance, schoolwork, and even basic functioning.
One benefit of having an OCD diagnosis is that it doesn’t limit one’s potential. Through the use of therapeutic practices, medicine and more, many people manage their OCD and lead normal, successful lives. To learn more about OCD compulsions and obsession, or to see if you might want to seek help, keep reading.
Here’s what you need to know about OCD & when to seek treatment:
- What is OCD?
- Common OCD Obsessions
- Common Compulsions of OCD
- Do You Have OCD?
What Is OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unwanted intrusive thoughts, extreme anxiety, and occasional panic attacks. People who suffer from this condition tend to get caught up in a mental cycle of obsessions and compulsions that affect their thinking and behavior.
Though, a person with OCD deals with much more than the occasional obsessive thought or behavior. OCD sufferers usually experience obsessions or compulsions on a daily basis. These issues can negatively impact a person’s personal and professional life if unaddressed.
Common OCD Obsessions
An obsession is a pattern of thoughts that is repetitive, intrusive, and difficult to control. Stress and anxiety are usually symptoms brought on by these thoughts, and tend to be related to one or more specific themes. Someone who suffers from OCD may have intrusive thoughts about germs and infections that make them worried about getting sick. Or, they may have impulsive, reckless thoughts that suggest they drive right into oncoming traffic when on the road.
Having such obsessive thoughts can often overwhelm a person with OCD, as they can become disruptive and disturbing. Despite knowing that a thought may not make any sense, a person suffering from such obsessive thought patterns can still experience feelings of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Obsessive, intrusive thoughts tend to become time-consuming, making it difficult for an individual with OCD to complete important daily activities.
If you begin to notice your obsessive thought patterns are affecting your daily life or wellbeing, be sure to connect with a local or virtual therapist to find the best solution for you. You need not suffer in silence.
The following are some common examples of OCD obsessions:
- Unwanted, Repetitive Thoughts of Harming Yourself or Others
- Unwanted, Repetitive Sexual Thoughts
- Religious Obsessions
- Other Obsessions
- Physical Illness
- Lucky or Unlucky Numbers
- Losing Control
- Fear of Impulsively Harming Someone, Stealing, Insulting Someone
- Bodily Fluids
- Germs & Disease
- Environmental Contaminants
- Other Illness Causing Items
Common Compulsions of OCD
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or thoughts the individual suffering from OCD will often engage in to counteract their obsessive thoughts or feelings of distress. Usually, compulsions are rigid and are intended to neutralize distress or prevent a feared outcome. Performing these behaviors may seem odd or unnecessary to an outsider, but for the individual who performs them, they provide temporary relief from any or all obsessive thought patterns.
Even though people with OCD will often recognize that engaging in compulsive behaviors only provides temporary relief from a specific stress inducing obsession, they will still engage in those behaviors as they do not have any other coping mechanisms. Similar to obsessive thought patterns, compulsions or compulsive behavior patterns will take up a lot of time and interfere with daily life.
Some of the following are prime examples of OCD behaviors:
- Repeated Checking for Mistakes, Locks, Appliances, Illnesses
- Repetitive Thoughts, Counting, Body Movements, “Mantras”
- Excessive Washing & Cleaning
- Mental Compulsions
- Reviewing Procedures
- Constantly Replaying Events
- Extreme Rituals
- Other Compulsions
- Repeatedly Asking Questions
- Repeatedly Telling Stories
- Avoiding Triggers
- Constant Rearranging
Do You Have OCD?
Throughout our lives, many people will be plagued with obsessive thoughts or learned behaviors. Those who have OCD must suffer from frequent and severe obsessions and compulsions that interfere with their daily lives to be diagnosed. Similarly, your symptoms of OCD can change and shift throughout your life.
Meaning, your expressed symptoms from when you were a teen, may not look the same in your twenties or thirties. Depending on stress levels or other triggering factors, symptoms can fluctuate for some people. In other cases, symptoms may improve or deteriorate as people age. Keeping this in mind, not all repetitive thoughts become compulsions either. Considering the purpose and the context of the behavior will help you determine whether it is truly compulsive.
While some symptoms may be more commonly discussed, like hand washing, it’s important to remember that OCD can take many shapes and forms.
A person who experiences an obsession or compulsion does not necessarily have OCD. Typically, OCD sufferers:
- Devote at least an hour a day to dealing or attempting to cope with obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors.
- Deal with disruptions throughout their daily life. This can include within personal or romantic relationships, work or professional relationships as well as your relationship with yourself and basic personal care.
- Will be unable to control their thoughts or behaviors, even if they impact your daily life in a negative way.
- Attempt to cope and relieve obsessive thoughts by performing a compulsion based behavior, not because they enjoy or get pleasure out of said activity.
Dr. Phil Chanin – Psychologist for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
For many, deciding to begin individual counseling or psychotherapy can feel daunting or frightening. With this in mind, finding a good match with a therapist will be important. In Dr. Phil Chanin’s 44 years of practice as a psychotherapist, he believes his greatest honor is getting to work with so many patients on their paths of exploration, personal growth, and healing.
While many individuals seek individual counseling with clinical issues, others have sought assistance to improve their quality of life and sense of well-being. Whether you need a psychologist for anxiety, career issues, or obsessive compulsiveness, Dr. Phil Chanin continues to feel grateful towards his patients for allowing him to walk with them through difficult and challenging times in their lives.
If you or a loved one is looking for individual counseling services to gain a sense of normalcy and work on your mental health, contact Dr. Phil Chanin today!