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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is an anxiety disorder that is made up of two components: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are usually excessive fears or continuous, persistent thoughts. Compulsions are the repetitive behaviors and rituals that are done to manage the obsessions.

The obsessions that are characteristic of OCD are excessive and extremely anxiety provoking, they are no longer just simple worries that most people have. Compulsions usually become time-consuming and exhaust the individual performing them. One example: someone with OCD could have a fear of germs and their ritual consists of cleaning every surface of their home before they leave for work. Suddenly, they may start spending more time cleaning to satisfy their obsessive thoughts and this starts to make them late for work. Being late for work frequently means that they’re in trouble with their employer. When the fear and the compulsion begin to disrupt a person’s daily life, this usually means they have some form of OCD.

What Causes OCD?

This disorder is considered to be caused by a combination of factors; no one cause has been discovered. Biological chemistry is considered to be the biggest factor of OCD, but it can also be somewhat developed by the individual’s experiences in their environment and from their childhood into adulthood. Stress, like it does to many other disorders, aggravates the symptoms of OCD and helps promote the development of the disorder. Another thing that can contribute to worsening the disorder is having particular patterns of thought, such as intrusive thoughts.

How Does Counseling Help With OCD Symptoms?

OCD therapy highlights a range of habits, which that usually help reduce the symptoms, for the individual to focus on. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps the individual use their mind to diminish anxiety and gain control over their symptoms, such as learning to be mindful of their thoughts and refocusing onto another thought and behavior. When people learn coping strategies for their symptoms of OCD and the anxiety that is attached to it, they can start to break free from their cycle of obsessions and compulsions that structures the disorder.

In therapy, other areas of life are also focused on since OCD has an impact on relationships and goals the individual has. OCD can weaken relationships and keep the person from achieving what they want to do. Therapy will help re-establish relationships and the ties to the areas of your life that were affected by OCD.