Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is distinguished by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) which lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions). It’s also possible to have only obsessions or only compulsions and still have OCD.
Most people with OCD report awareness of their irrational thoughts, knowing intellectually that their fears don’t make sense, yet feel so terrifying.
People with OCD may or may not know their obsessions and behaviors are unreasonable. You may try to ignore them or stop them. However, that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive behaviors in an effort to ease your stressful feelings.
OCD is often focused on themes, such as a fear of germs. This leads to ritualistic behavior such as compulsively washing your hands until they’re rubbed raw or turning lights on and off as a ritual. You may try to ignore or stop the bothersome thoughts and urges, but they keep coming back. This only leads to more of the same ritualistic behavior, creating a vicious cycle.
What are Obsessions?
Obsessions are repeated, frequent thoughts that cause anxiety and fear and usually have a negative impact on your daily life. Often, obsessions cause people to have behaviors that they think will make them feel better.
Common obsessions include:
• Germs, cleanliness, or disease
• Potential danger or being harmed
• Fear of losing control
• Unwanted sexual thoughts
What are Compulsions?
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or thoughts that you engage in to neutralize, counteract, or make your obsessions go away.
Common compulsions include:
• Excessive cleaning, such as ritualized hand washing
• Checking, ordering, and arranging rituals
• Repeating routine activities, such as going in/out a doorway
How do you treat OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment can help, you bring symptoms under control so they don’t rule your daily life. Much of the time, once underlying causes are cleared up, OCD symptoms stop.
Please call me at 914-450-2413 if you feel that I can be of help or if you have questions.