Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (commonly known as OCD) is a mental health disorder characterized by recurring, persistent, and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that cause distress or excessive worry and urges (compulsions) performed to decrease this worry. The obsessions are intrusive, the compulsions are persistent, and both interfere with everyday life. Obsessions are characterized by powerful thoughts (or beliefs) such as, “if I don’t wash my hands exactly three times after touching a doorknob I will get sick”. Washing hands in a specific way becomes the compulsion. Compulsions and the desire to complete them are irrational and can be very strong. Sufferers often perform their rituals as if their lives depended on it.
More than 2.2 million American adults from all walks of life suffer from OCD. The disorder is equally common among both men and women. As hard as it is to live with OCD and its unending cycle of worry and controlling obsessions, sufferers should know that they are not alone, and there is hope. At Valley, we understand OCD and how to treat this frustrating disorder. We look forward to meeting and treating you.
OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) Averages & Statistics
What Are the Symptoms of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)?
At times, OCD can be challenging to diagnose due to similarity with other disorders such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Comorbidity or the presence of more than one disorder at the same time can also make diagnosis difficult. Measurement of OCS or Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms can provide some insight.
Symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder fall into two categories:
If left untreated could include:
Fear of germs or dirt
Needing environments orderly and or symmetrical
Intrusive thoughts about harming oneself or others
Unwanted thoughts around violence, sexual or religious subjects
If left untreated could include:
Excessive hand-washing, often until skin becomes raw
Checking the oven repeatedly to make sure it is turned off
Checking repeatedly to make sure locks are secure
Arranging items to make sure they are perfectly aligned
How is Valley Treating OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)?
Paying regular attention to your mental well-being is good and should be a very normal part of healthy living. At Valley, we know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, which is why we take the time to care for each client individually and consider their broader story. Every client that walks through our doors is assessed holistically and cared for in a comprehensive way within a solution-focused approach.
We offer a wide variety of counseling and counseling environments for a wide variety of clients:
Our individual counseling focuses in on each client and their unique story in order to discover the solutions that are right for them. After pairing our clients with the ideal therapist, we take the time to press into the cognitive, behavioral, and motivational aspects of our client’s recovery while also considering dual-diagnosis.
Research shows that counseling within a group setting is just as effective, sometimes even more so than individual care. At Valley, we are proud to provide robust and interactive care groups led by trained clinicians. These empowering spaces have proven to be an invaluable resource for learning coping skills, feeling acceptance, and avoiding social isolation.
While every client needs to be individually motivated to seek treatment, one of the largest factors in successful treatment is a solid support system. In family and couples counseling we partner with immediate family, primary caregivers, adopted families, and support systems to get everyone on the same page in caring for their loved ones.
Initial treatment approach will depend on the severity of each individuals symptoms. For more severe symptoms medication can often help patients engage more effectively in Exposure and Response Prevention. Most commonly, this will include serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SRIs.
Incorporating complementary or alternative medicine is often referred to as an integrated approach and works best when used alongside professional treatment. Don’t replace conventional medical treatment or psychotherapy with alternative medicine.
With that said, here are some things proven to be helpful when dealing with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder):
More clinical studies need to be performed to determine the effectiveness of supplements and natural interventions for people with OCD. Positive lifestyle changes on the other hand rarely have negative side effects and may also help reduce stress. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement. Even natural supplements can have side effects and interfere with the actions of prescription medications.
Exercise is generally classified as aerobic (running or walking), resistance (weight training), or mindfulness-based (yoga or tai chi). Exercise is known to improve cognitive mechanisms due to a diversion from negative thinking, social contact, and feelings of control over one’s health. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or another activity that you enjoy.
Getting a healthy amount of sleep is important for both your physical and mental well-being. If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor or therapist about what they can do to help aid in getting better sleep.
Stress complicates any disorder. These activities may help with relaxation and be a valuable part of your treatment plan. Several alternative treatments aim to reduce anxiety and stress. These treatments include:
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