Most people think of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as a mental health challenge that affects adults. While OCD persists throughout adulthood, it can first appear between the ages of 7-12. Our providers at Ease Psychiatry work closely with patients of all ages, offering compassionate care that helps each person regain control of their OCD behaviors. To learn how you can thrive despite OCD, call the office in Duncanville, Texas, Vancouver, Washington and Dike, Iowa or schedule an in-person or telemedicine appointment online today.

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What is OCD?

OCD causes unwanted and uncontrollable thoughts (obsessions) that compel you to take action to ease your anxiety and make the obsessions stop. The actions you take (compulsions) follow repetitive rituals that temporarily relieve your obsession and anxiety. However, the thoughts eventually return.

What obsessions might I have with OCD?

Your obsessive thoughts typically follow a theme. One of the most common is a fixation on cleanliness. A few other obsessions include:

  • Fear of germs or getting sick
  • Fear of being harmed
  • Fear of saying something offensive
  • Need for items to be in order
  • Need for symmetry
  • Disturbing sexual thoughts
  • Recurring sounds or images
  • Thoughts of aggression or violence

You know your thoughts are irrational or don’t make sense, yet you can’t make them stop.

What compulsions might I have with OCD?

Compulsive behaviors often follow your obsessions, but there are some exceptions. Some people respond to any type of obsession by counting. For example, you may count up to a specific number or count certain items.

These are a few examples of behaviors that stay in line with your thoughts:

If you worry about germs, you may frequently wash your hands, take a shower, or use hand sanitizer.

If you have a fear of being harmed, you may constantly check your doors and windows to be sure they’re locked.

If your obsessions focus on order and symmetry, you may need to put items in a precise order, often rearranging them to be sure they’re perfect — even if they were already in flawless order.

Even though you know that you just washed your hands, checked the locks, or rearranged the books on a shelf, you’re compelled to do it again when the thought recurs.

How is OCD treated?

During your first consultation, your provider learns about the severity and frequency of your symptoms.

After verifying you have OCD, they develop a treatment plan that may include medications and/or therapy, depending on your level of anxiety, mental discomfort, and the presence of other conditions like depression.

Medications can help target certain symptoms, but they don’t usually eliminate all of your OCD-related thoughts and behaviors. Therapy gives you the ability to find alternative ways to deal with the anxiety and limit or stop your compulsive behaviors.

To learn more about treatments for OCD, call Ease Psychiatry or book an appointment online today.