In movies and television, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is commonly presented as a “quirk,” but in reality, OCD is a serious mental disorder that can affect your everyday life. While some obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals are normal, they become a problem when you cannot stop or control them.
If you are spending more than 1 hour a day on these obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors and find that they are impacting your life and wellbeing, it may be time to get help.
Our team at Tapestry is here to help you get well.
What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental illness characterized by repetitive, unwanted, intrusive thoughts and irrational, excessive urges to complete certain actions. These thoughts and actions are usually uncontrollable, and someone with OCD may not be able to stop their thoughts and behaviors even though they do not make sense. People with OCD also engage in their thoughts and actions over and over again.
OCD has a notable impact on body dysmorphia and eating disorders and can be a component of hoarding disorders and trichotillomania (obsessively pulling out hair) or excoriation disorder (obsessively scratching or picking at the skin).
What Are Obsessions?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines obsessions as “repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety.” Many people know these thoughts and images are untrue or unrelated to their health or wellbeing in the present moment, but they are anxious or afraid, nonetheless.
Examples of obsessions include:
- Fear of germs or contamination
- Having things symmetrical or in perfect order
- Thoughts about harming yourself or someone else
- Unpleasant mental images involving sex, harm, or religion
- Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, harm, or religion
- Aggressive thoughts
- Fear of saying or shouting inappropriate things in public
- Doubts about actions (i.e. did I turn off the store or lock the door?)
When people experience these obsessions, they tend to pursue actions that provide relief. Sadly, this relief is temporary and leads to the vicious cycle of obsession and compulsion known as OCD.
Break the cycle by calling us at (844) 299-1343 today.
What Are Compulsions?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “compulsions are repetitive acts that temporarily relieve the stress brought on by an obsession.” These ‘rituals’ do not make sense to others, and sometimes, they do not even make sense to the person performing them. Nonetheless, someone with OCD typically feels they must act on their compulsions to alleviate anxiety or prevent something bad from happening.
Examples of compulsions include:
- Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing
- Checking (and double-checking) that the stove is off and the doors are locked
- “Mental checking”
- Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way
- Counting things (like money) over and over again
People with OCD may be embarrassed by these behaviors, which could lead them to self-isolate or avoid social situations. They also do not find completing these actions to be pleasurable, aside from the momentary relief from anxiety they may provide.
How Is OCD Treated?
To be diagnosed with OCD, you must have obsessions, compulsions, or both. Further, these obsessions and/or compulsions must be upsetting and present challenges with work, relationships, and daily life. Once you have an OCD diagnosis, you can be treated with an antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and/or psychotherapies like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and exposure and response therapy (ERT).
Unfortunately, OCD cannot be cured, but it can be managed with the correct resources. Our treatment programs at Tapestry provide valuable therapies, medications, and so much more.
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Why Choose Tapestry?
At Tapestry, we understand the complexities of mental illnesses like OCD and how they can play into eating disorders and other behavioral problems. As such, we focus on the underlying issues at play and the ways your illness impacts your life. We never judge our patients and create an environment where they can dig deep and feel better.
We want to help you create intrinsic change and live a meaningful life.
All you need to do is call us at (844) 299-1343 or start your healing online today.
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