Obsessive compulsive disorder, more commonly referred to as OCD, is a difficult and often misunderstood condition. It involves persistent, recurring thoughts, urges, or images known as “obsessions,” which cause considerable distress and are unwelcome and intrusive.
Certain recurring behaviors, known as “compulsions,” may develop as a means to relieve that distress and may have to be performed in a very specific manner. Compulsions may be “mental” behaviors too, such as repeating words, prayers, or countering thoughts.
The term itself is used casually by those that like to wash their hands a bit more often than usual, or find that they feel compelled to clean before guests come. But for those that actually live with OCD, the struggle can be much worse. These obsessive thoughts can be about almost anything, and while the most common is contamination (thoughts about germs and illness), the obsessions may be about:
- Symmetry (repeating, ordering, and counting compulsions)
- Religious blasphemy or other taboo thoughts
- Harming others or self
- Loss, and more
For some, the obsessions are images in their mind. For others, it’s a way of thinking. Although many people have recurring thoughts, what makes these thoughts so problematic is that they cause extreme distress and anxiety each time they pop into the person’s mind.
These thoughts may also cause the person to perform similar behaviors to try to reduce some of those fears. For example, a person whose obsession is a fear that they will be robbed or hurt may check locks over and over again. A person whose obsession is that they fear they may be a “sexual deviant” may cause them to think about the sexual image they are worried about to see if they are aroused.
Therapy for OCD in Kansas City, Missouri
Many of those with OCD never seek help, either because they feel they can manage it or they are ashamed that their obsessions say something negative about them as a person. But OCD is highly treatable. In my practice, we use several very effective techniques to help treat obsessive compulsive disorder, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for OCD
- Prolonged Exposure and Response Prevention
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
My space is judgment free, and I will do my best to make it comfortable to talk about any obsession you may have, and the compulsions you use to relieve them. Remember, that the distress you feel is because those obsessions are not you. Therapy for OCD is possible, and in my Kansas City, MO psychologist office, I’ll work with you to help keep your obsessive compulsive disorder under control.
If you struggle with OCD in Kansas City and are interested in learning more about the available therapy, or you’d like to schedule an appointment to begin treatment, please call me today at 858.224.3767 or email to DrRanda@FriendyPsychology.com.