Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
As a therapist, I care deeply about providing a safe, non-judgmental space for reflection, honesty, and vulnerability. With my style of therapy, the aim is to help people overcome obstacles and self-imposed barriers they may face so that they can flourish in their personal lives. I utilize a multi-faceted approach that includes various types of therapeutic interventions including cognitive-behavioral, strength-based, person-first, solution-focused, and direct reality-based psychodynamic style.
OCD Symptoms, Signs, Definition, & Treatments
What is OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder that causes repeated and unwanted thoughts, feelings, or sensations (obsessions) and the need to perform certain actions over and over again (compulsions).
What are the Symptoms of OCD?
The symptoms of OCD can vary from person to person but usually include both obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and unwanted. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels driven to perform in order to relieve anxiety or distress.
People with OCD may also have difficulty functioning in their daily lives due to their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. They may miss work or school, avoid social activities, or isolate themselves from family and friends. In severe cases, OCD can be completely debilitating.
What are Some Common Obsessions?
People with OCD may have obsessions about contaminants or germs, fear of losing important things, or obsessive thoughts about harming themselves or others. Other common obsessions include:
- Excessive worry about making mistakes, being embarrassed, or doing something wrong
- Intrusive, unwanted, and unwelcome thoughts
- Repeated doubts about whether you have completed a task correctly
- A need for everything to be symmetrical or perfect
- Unwanted sexual thoughts or images
- Fear of contracting a deadly illness
What are Some Common Compulsions?
People with OCD may feel the need to wash their hands over and over again, clean excessively, check things repeatedly, or hoard objects. Other common compulsions include:
- Counting (e.g., steps, cracks in the sidewalk)
- Arranging and ordering (e.g., books on a shelf)
- Repeating words or phrases
- Touching objects in a certain way
What are the Treatments for OCD?
There are several effective treatments for OCD, including medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Medications used to treat OCD include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). CBT for OCD typically involves exposure and response prevention (ERP), which is a type of therapy that helps people confront their fears and learn to control their compulsions.
OCD can be a debilitating condition that interferes with daily life. However, it is treatable with medication and therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, please seek help from a mental health professional.
"I came to Matt with a desire to change my life, but was having a very hard time making the changes I needed to make. I was not being honest with myself and didn't feel in control of my life. Matt helped me realize that being honest with myself and seizing control of my own life was something I could do, and that it was up to me to make my life what I wanted it to be. Matt was patient and celebrated my accomplishments while encouraging me to get back up when I was down. I've grown a lot during the time I've known Matt, and I'm thankful for him and proud of myself."