Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is often referred to as “OCD”. People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder often have repetitive thoughts or urges that create a great deal of distress. In an attempt to neutralize or get rid of these thoughts or urges, they will develop behaviors or mental processes that temporarily provide a sense of relief. As the behaviors or mental acts take up more and more time, a person’s social and work life is affected, and his or her anxiety level actually increases. People with OCD may or may not recognize how unrelated their behaviors are to the urges or thoughts that they experience. However, they feel as if they must keep repeating the behaviors or mental rituals. In addition to having high anxiety levels, people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are often perfectionistic, take on too much responsibility, and have a hard time coping with uncertainty. While eating disorders are distinctly separate from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, people with eating disorders exhibit many obsessive compulsive behaviors and rituals around food, exercise and fear of weight gain.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which integrates Exposure Therapy has been shown to be effective in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A skilled therapist must help the person challenge his or her distorted beliefs. In cases of moderate to severe OCD, therapy can be even more effective when coupled with the use of medication, most often SSRIs.