Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Treatment in Orange County



Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects people of all ages. OCD currently affects about 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children in the United States.

People who suffer from OCD may realize their obsessions and compulsions are irrational. Regardless, they still have a strong desire to act out these repetitive behaviors or mental compulsions. If this mental illness is left untreated, it can be chronic and interfere with a person’s daily life. 

OCD treatment in Orange County, California can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life. At SoCal Empowered, we offer treatment for those suffering from mental health disorders that include OCD. Located in Orange County, CA, our facilities provide sunshine and warmth, ideal for undergoing inpatient mental health treatment.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a chronic disorder where a person experiences uncontrollable obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions refer to reoccurring thoughts, whereas compulsions are reoccurring behaviors that are repeated over and over.

Thoughts and acts driven by OCD include:

  • Checking on things repeatedly
  • An inability to let worries go
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Hoarding
  • Constantly organizing things


People affected by OCD will show symptoms of either obsessions, compulsions, or both. These symptoms range from mild to severe and can come and go over time, as well as ease or worsen.

The most common symptom is anxiety. A person may have a feeling that something terrible will happen if they do not complete a certain task. An example would be checking to see if the stove is off. If this task is left undone, these negative thoughts make them feel anxious and tense.

Symptoms of OCD can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships. Usually, adults with OCD notice that what they do does not make sense or is out of the ordinary. However, some adults and most children do not realize their behavior is abnormal. Parents and teachers generally identify OCD symptoms in children.


These thoughts, urges, and mental images cause anxiety. A few common symptoms of OCD-fueled obsessions include:

  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Aggressive thoughts towards others or themselves
  • The need for things to be symmetrical or in a perfect order
  • Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts


These repetitive behaviors are a response to obsessive thoughts. A few common symptoms of OCD compulsions include:

  • Excessive cleaning or hand washing
  • Arranging things in a particular, precise way
  • Compulsive counting
  • Repeatedly checking things.
Not all habitual behaviors are compulsions. It is normal for a person to double-check on things, although a person with OCD usually:

  • Spends at least 1 hour every day with these thoughts or behaviors
  • Has no control over these thoughts or behaviors, even if they recognize how absurd they are
  • Gets no pleasure from performing the compulsions but feels a moment of relief
  • Faces major problems in their day-to-day life because of the thoughts and behaviors

People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can also have a tic disorder. These motor tics are sudden, quick, repetitive movements. This includes eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Vocal tics include repetitive clearing of the throat, sniffing, or grunting sounds.


Similar to other mental health disorders, typical OCD treatment consists of a personalized plan of medication, psychotherapy, or both. The majority of people respond to OCD treatment, but some might still experience symptoms. Moreover, a person may have another disorder or co-occurring disorder such as anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia. Therefore, it is important to keep the possibility of a co-occurring disorder in mind when deciding treatments.


Medication for OCD treatment can include serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which help reduce symptoms. It may take 8 to 12 weeks for medications to start working, but some people experience faster improvement.

When OCD symptoms do not improve with SSRIs, evidence-based research shows that people can respond to an antipsychotic medication. People taking OCD prescription medication should:


  • Speak to a doctor or pharmacist to fully understand all risks and benefits of the medication before starting.
  • Do not stop taking medication without speaking to the doctor about it first. A sudden stop can lead to worsening symptoms or potentially dangerous withdrawal effects.
  • Report any side effects to the doctor immediately. A change in dose or medication may be necessary.


Psychotherapy is an effective OCD treatment for many adults and children. Research shows that for some, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other related therapies can be just as effective as medication.

A type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP therapy) effectively reduces compulsive OCD behaviors. These exercises help “expose” the person to feelings of anxiety, which helps break unhealthy patterns. For many people this psychotherapy option is an add-on treatment of choice or for when medications don’t effectively relieve symptoms.


People of all different ages and backgrounds can be affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The irrational obsessive and compulsive behaviors this condition produces can damage your quality of life. Treat OCD as any other mental health disorder by reaching out to mental health professionals for help.

At SoCal Empowered, our mental health treatment centers offer individualized help for every patient. Our OCD treatment plans offer psychotherapy and medication so that you can overcome these symptoms. Give us a call today if you or a loved one may be struggling with OCD.