According to the International OCD Foundation, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions are unwanted and intrusive thoughts or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease his or her distress. Compulsions are often repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, organizing, or cleaning. The actions themselves are not necessarily unhealthy, but an obsession with completing the tasks can significantly interfere with a person’s career, daily activities, and social interactions.
Common Obsessions in OCD
- Contamination Obsessions – Fear of touching or being near perceived contaminated substances
- Sexual Obsessions – Unwanted thoughts or mental images related to sex
- Violent Obsessions – Fear of acting on an impulse to harm oneself or others
- Religious/Moral Obsessions (Scrupulosity) – Excessive concern with offending God, damnation, and/or concern about blasphemy
- Responsibility Obsessions – Fear of being responsible for something terrible happening or harming others because of not being careful enough
- Identity Obsessions – Excessive concern with one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Perfectionism-related Obsessions – Perfectionism, excessive concern about evenness & exactness; concern with a need to know or remember; fear of making mistakes
Common Compulsions in OCD
- Washing and Cleaning
- Mental Compulsions – Mental review of events to prevent harm, Praying to prevent harm (to oneself or others, to prevent terrible consequences)
- Checking – Checking that you did not/will not harm others or yourself; checking that you have not made a mistake; checking parts of your body.
- Repeating – Repeating routine activities (epening doors, or sitting down); repeating body movements (tapping, touching, blinking); Repeating activities in “multiples” (doing a task three times)
Treatment plans vary for each person but may include psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medications. Following a treatment plan and meeting regularly with a specialist like Dr. Keise and the experts at Insyte Psychiatric in East Brunswick can dramatically improve their quality of life and decrease the control that OCD has over their actions and thoughts.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
For meaningful improvement from the effects of OCD, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown better results than psychotropic medications alone. Instead of treating the symptoms, CBT focuses on the person as a whole, including their thoughts and mindset. One effective CBT practice is exposure & responseprevention. You may be exposed to situations that trigger an obsessive response and practice avoiding performing the compulsive behavior. Gradually increasing the exposure and level of anxiety will build a resilience OCD reactions.
There are certain medications that are used to treat OCD and other mental health disorders.
Dr. Keise will recommend the correct medication and dosage that is right for you. However, the dosage can change as your age and you are more skilled at responsive avoidance. In some cases, Dr. Keise will not recommend medical treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with OCD or believe you are showing signs and symptoms of OCD, you can get help from a team of trained professionals with Insyte Psychiatric. Benefit from personalized care, a dedicated team, and a technology conscious team that officers virtual and in-office meetings to meet your needs.