Obsessive compulsive disorder
Symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder / Treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder
Its normal to find yourself double checking things occasionally like going back to make sure you’ve turned off the heater or checking you’ve locked the front door but obsessive compulsive disorder is when obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviour become so excessive that they interfere with day to day life. You might try hard to control the thoughts or behaviours but you just can’t seem to do it.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where people experience unwanted, uncontrollable thoughts and ritualised repetitive behaviour that they feel compelled to perform. If you have OCD you probably know that some of these thoughts and behaviour are irrational however you can’t help or stop them occurring.
Obsessions are uncontrollable thoughts, images or impulses that occur over and over. You don’t want to have these thoughts or impulses but you just can’t seem to control or stop them. They are often intrusive, sometimes disturbing and they interfere with your life.
Compulsions are behaviours that you feel compelled to perform over and over again. Compulsions usually arise out of a need to reduce obsessions, for instance you worry about the house burning down and so you check the oven, heaters and the iron constantly to ensure you haven’t left them on, even though you know you haven’t. These compulsions may take up large chunks of time and therefore impact greatly on your life.
People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) normally have issues that fall into one of the following categories:
Washers are worried about contamination and have hand washing or cleaning rituals.
Sinners and doubters worry if they don’t do things the right way they will be punished or something terrible will happen.
Checkers constantly check things (e.g. car is locked, iron is turned off) to avoid harm or danger
Hoarders worry if they throw something out something bad will happen so they collect things they don’t use
Arrangers and counters are obsessed with order and may be superstitious about certain colours, numbers or patterns.
Adapted from helpguide.org
The good news is help is readily available for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. Select Counsellors can help you find a counsellor who is the best fit for you
Treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder
Therapy is widely considered the most effective treatment for OCD. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is one type of therapy that is commonly used. CBT focuses on two aspects of treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder:
Exposure which involves being exposed to the situation you are anxious about without being able to perform the usual rituals or compulsive behaviours. For instance, you might finish cooking and turn off the stove and then you are asked to not check the stove again. Even though you are feeling anxious about not being able to check the stove you are asked to sit with the anxiety. You gradually start to feel less anxious and you find you don’t need to keep checking the stove to reduce the anxiety. This teaches you that you do have some control over your compulsions.
Challenge your catastrophic thoughts with cognitive behavioural therapy you learn to manage your obsessive thoughts e.g. something bad will happen, without engaging in obsessive behaviour.
Adapted from helpguide.org
Medication for obsessive compulsive disorder
Antidepressants are sometimes used in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder; however they often are not effective on their own and need to be used in conjunction with therapy.
Recovery from obsessive compulsive disorder
It’s good to know that recovery from obsessive compulsive disorder is possible with the right treatment. Therapy is widely considered the most effective treatment for OCD.
Did you realise research has shown that the relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important elements for a successful outcome? How do you know if the counsellor you find will be the best fit for you?
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. At Select Counsellors our key priority is Finding you the One. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Click on the links below to find out more information on anxiety:
The Helpful Guide