Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects men, women, and children. According to ADAA, 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.
Luckily, OCD treatment can help relieve symptoms and regain control of your life. At SoCal Empowered, we offer treatment for those suffering from mental health disorders, such as OCD. Located in Orange County, CA, our facility provides sunshine and warmth, ideal for undergoing inpatient mental health treatment.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic (long-lasting) 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.
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 up 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. For example, 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 obsessions include:
These repetitive behaviors are a response to obsessive thoughts. A few common symptoms of OCD compulsions include:
Not all habitual behaviors are compulsions. It is normal for a person to double-check on things, although a person with OCD usually:
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 may demonstrate repetitive clearing of the throat, sniffing, or grunting sounds.
Similar to other mental health disorders, typical OCD treatment consists of a personalized treatment plan of medication, psychotherapy, or both. The majority of people with 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. Due to this, it is important to consider the possibility of having another disorder when deciding treatments.
Medication for OCD treatment includes serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which help reduce symptoms. It may take 8 to 12 weeks for SRIs to start working, but some people experience fast improvement.
When symptoms do not improve with these medications, evidence-based research shows people can respond well to an antipsychotic medication. When people with OCD take prescription medication, it is important to:
Psychotherapy is an effective OCD treatment for many adults and children suffering from OCD. 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. Regardless if the person did not respond positively to SRI medication. 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 center offers individualized treatment 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.