Do you suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-compulsive Disorder has to do with having major fears that you recognize as being exaggerated or as not being reasonable to your circumstances (obsessions) but feeling a strong need to engage in repetitive behaviors to minimize the perceived risk (compulsions.) The behaviors can be things you do such as excessive hand washing, or mental activities such as counting repeatedly in your mind. When trying to not engage in the behaviors, your anxiety may become so intense that you may find yourself engaging in the behavior just to find some relief. However, this often results in a vicious cycle of thoughts leading to anxiety, behaviors that immediately decrease the anxiety but ultimately lead to more anxiety and so forth. Individuals diagnosed with OCD find that their lives have been impacted to the extent that behaviors become very rigid and their ability to engage in life fully is greatly impacted.
How can therapy help?
The most effective treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which addresses one’s thoughts and behaviors. Medications, specifically a class of antidepressants known as SSRIs, are also often used in conjunction with psychotherapy.