OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Everyone has intrusive thoughts from time to time. Most people can disregard those thoughts and not dwell on them, for others those thoughts can be so scary that it is hard to not think about it or make you doubt who you are and what your values are. For some people who ruminate (obsession) on unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings, they develop repetitive behaviors (compulsions) to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease distress.
Obsessions often have themes to them, such as:
Fear of contamination or dirt
difficulty tolerating uncertainty
Needing things symmetrical or just right
Aggressive or horrific thoughts about losing control and harming yourself or others: Sexually or physically
Unwanted thoughts, including aggression, or sexual or religious subjects
As with obsessions, compulsions typically have themes, such as:
Washing and cleaning
Need for a specific routine
Need for reassurance
These experiences may be very scary, and you might even start to doubt who you are, but you are not alone and there is help available to work through these scary symptoms and take back control of your life.
The first step is understanding that we cannot control our thoughts. When we focus on those negative thoughts that start to feel real. OCD tends to stem from distorted thinking patterns. Here at 253 Therapy and Consult we utilize a variety of ways to help manage anxiety including but not limited to: Exposure Response Prevention Therapy (ERP), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
ERP therapy is a behavioral therapy that gradually exposes you to situations designed to provoke your obsessions and anxiety in a safe environment. ERP doesn’t completely remove distressing situations and thoughts, ERP provides a patient with coping skills for when a triggering situation presents itself, allowing them to then use the skills to prevent their compulsion from taking over.
CBT works by identifying how a person's thoughts and behaviors create unhelpful anxiety. Therapists work with clients to learn how negative thought patterns influence a person's feelings and behaviors.
ACT works by helping a client establish psychological flexibility by practicing acceptance and committing to taking actions that align with a client’s values. With clients that experience unhelpful anxiety, many times they are fused with distorted thoughts. ACT helps diffuse from those thoughts and practice value-driven behaviors that help influence positive thinking patterns.
If you are ready to put OCD in the passenger seat of your life so you can take back control.
Reach out for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you on your journey.