Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that causes repeated unwanted thoughts or sensations (obsessions) or the urge to do something over and over again (compulsions). Some people can have both obsessions and compulsions. OCD isn’t about habits like biting your nails or thinking negative thoughts. An obsessive thought might be that certain numbers or colors are “good” or “bad.” A compulsive habit might be to wash your hands seven times after touching something that could be dirty. Although you may not want to think or do these things, you feel powerless to stop. Everyone has habits or thoughts that repeat sometimes. People with OCD have thoughts or actions that:
Symptoms of OCD

Obsessions and Compulsions

Many people who have OCD know that their thoughts and habits don’t make sense. They don’t do them because they enjoy them, but because they can’t quit. And if they stop, they feel so bad that they start again.

Obsessive thoughts can include:

Types of Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A common mental health condition where people experience regular, excessive anxiety. Unlike other anxiety disorders where fears are easily identified, people living with GAD have multiple fears or may be unable to identify specific causes of their anxiety.

Social Anxiety Disorder
A common condition that's characterized by excessive fear of certain social situations and specific concerns of being negatively judged by others. Often, social anxiety leads to avoidance of these situations which negatively impacts a person’s ability to function and their quality of life.
Panic Disorder
A condition characterized by the intense fear of having another panic attack. Panic attacks feature extreme symptoms of anxiety that come on suddenly and generally last several minutes. Panic disorder leads to avoidant behavior which disrupts a person’s normal routine and daily life.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A mental health condition defined by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors ( (aka obsessions and compulsions). Those living with OCD experience intense anxiety about the nature of their obsessions and engage in compulsive behaviors to alleviate their distress. Reduction in the frequency and severity of symptoms is possible with therapy and/or medication.


Acute Stress Disorder
Develops following a traumatic experience with symptoms including upsetting memories, avoidance of trauma reminders, and impairment of normal routines and functioning. Acute stress disorder is diagnosed when symptoms occur directly after the trauma but resolve within one month. Acute stress disorder is a diagnosis used to help clinicians flag people at risk of developing PTSD following a traumatic experience like an accident, injury, or assault. Early treatment may slow or stop this progression to PTSD.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
People feel an excessive and overwhelming amount of anxiety when separated, or when anticipating being separated, from a parent, spouse, child, etc. The level of anxiety experienced is not developmentally appropriate, is persistent, and can cause significant distress sometimes impairing social, school or work functioning. It is quite common and onset often occurs in children and adolescents. Treated with talk therapy and/or medication.
counselling
Treatment of Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessions and Compulsions Treatment Treatment Patients with OCD who receive appropriate treatment commonly experience an increased improved quality of life and improved functioning. Treatment may improve an individual's ability to function at school and work, develop and enjoy relationships, and pursue leisure activities.

Treatments include:

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help change your thinking patterns. In a form called exposure and response prevention, your doctor will put you in a situation designed to create anxiety or set off compulsions. You’ll learn to lessen and then stop your OCD thoughts or actions.

Simple things like meditation, yoga, and massage can help with stressful OCD symptoms.

Psychiatric drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors help many people control obsessions and compulsions. They might take 2 to 4 months to start working. Common ones include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). If you still have symptoms, your doctor might give you antipsychotic drugs like aripiprazole (Abilify) or risperidone (Risperdal).

when therapy and medication aren’t making enough of a difference, your doctor might talk to you about devices that change the electrical activity in a certain area of your brain. One kind, transcranial magnetic stimulation, is FDA-approved for OCD treatment. It uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells. A more complicated procedure, deep brain stimulation, uses electrodes that are implanted in your head.

The TMS unit is a non-invasive device that is held above the head to induce the magnetic field. It  targets a specific part of the brain that regulates OCD symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help change your thinking patterns. In a form called exposure and response prevention, your doctor will put you in a situation designed to create anxiety or set off compulsions. You’ll learn to lessen and then stop your OCD thoughts or actions.

Simple things like meditation, yoga, and massage can help with stressful OCD symptoms.

Psychiatric drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors help many people control obsessions and compulsions. They might take 2 to 4 months to start working. Common ones include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). If you still have symptoms, your doctor might give you antipsychotic drugs like aripiprazole (Abilify) or risperidone (Risperdal).

when therapy and medication aren’t making enough of a difference, your doctor might talk to you about devices that change the electrical activity in a certain area of your brain. One kind, transcranial magnetic stimulation, is FDA-approved for OCD treatment. It uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells. A more complicated procedure, deep brain stimulation, uses electrodes that are implanted in your head.

The TMS unit is a non-invasive device that is held above the head to induce the magnetic field. It  targets a specific part of the brain that regulates OCD symptoms.

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