Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Treatment
An Overview Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects many people and there are numerous ways it impacts on someone’s life.
OCD can affect their ability to concentrate at work or school, impede on their social activities; including maintaining friendships, and can deeply affect their self esteem. Sometimes people also experience depression and or other types of anxieties in addition to having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Most people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) know that their obsessions and compulsions do not make any sense, but in the moment when their obsessions and compulsions happen, they have difficulty ignoring them or stopping them. These behaviors can take up so much of their time that it can become difficult for that person to get through their daily routines and activities. Merrill specializes in helping people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at her practice in Eastchester, NY.
What Does Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Look LIke?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are persistent, intrusive thoughts. It feels as though the thought gets “stuck” and people have difficulty controlling these thoughts, and letting them go. There is a great deal of anxiety and fear about these thoughts. Often people feel that if they don’t do something or say something in a certain way then something bad will happen. These thoughts usually follow with a compulsion to try and get rid of the anxiety around their obsessions.
They will perform either a cognitive ritual such as repeating the word over and over, saying the word a certain number of times, and or replaying a scene over and over in their mind. or a behavioral ritual, such as touching something a certain way, touching things a certain number of times, checking something many times over, and or hold on to objects/ items that they don’t really need. When someone collects and holds onto these items they are “Hoarding”, and often will have difficulty throwing these things away.
When someone thinks about not giving into the obsession and or compulsion their anxiety will increase. These obsessions and compulsions can last from a few minutes to many hours and can take over the persons daily life. It also can have a great impact on their significant others and family members. In Merrill’s practice in Eastchester, NY she helps the client understand how their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) manifests itself, and explores with the client how to begin to manage it differently.
Treatment For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
In treatment it is important that the client be educated about their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and how it impacts on their life. Information and education is also important for their significant others and family members.
At Merrill’s private practice (Eastchester, NY) she does an assessment with the client in order to develop an individualized plan for them. Medication is at times used as an adjunct to the cognitive behavior therapy. Medication can be helpful to the client during the treatment process in order to help them manage their anxiety and or depression while dealing with their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Exposure therapy and response prevention are an integral part of the treatment. This is where the client is helped in gradual steps to alter the way they react to their thoughts and compulsions. The client is exposed to the obsession and is taught not to give in to the compulsion This is done in a hierarchal fashion from the least difficult to the most challenging so that the client can be successful at managing their obsessions and compulsions.
During this process the client comes to see that nothing bad happens when they don’t give in to their obsessions and compulsions. In time the client learns new strategies and they often gain confidence in their ability to manage their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) effectively. Ultimately the goal is for them to have success at managing their obsessions and compulsions so that they don’t interfere with their daily routines the way they did previously, and for the overall quality of their life to be improved.
You can get further information about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) from the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation.