Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD, is a common mental health disorder that can affect all types of people. It manifests itself in obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, which over time can engulf the person suffering and stop them living a normal and happy life. There are many approaches to OCD, which include treatment programmes based on current expertise and clinical advice. Whether you experience the obsessions or compulsions of OCD, it’s important to get the correct care that will ultimately help manage and improve symptoms.
OCD therapy can include different types of CBT, including Exposure Response Prevention and Cognitive Therapy. These work in different ways, the first looks to stop anxieties and compulsive behaviours strengthening each other. This is done through gradual exposure to fears and learning the best way to stop usual compulsive behaviours. The latter refers to therapy that acts as a problem solving technique, focusing on the way we think and act, meaning we can manage and overcome emotional difficulties. Our OCD treatment services include these therapies and more. With OCD help you can overcome compulsive behaviours and learn to manage feelings too, resulting in reduced obsessions.
Regular contact with a professional who is able to help can improve the symptoms, whether that be at home or over the phone. We’ll piece together a treatment plan that works best for you and your needs, whether your symptoms are severe or mild.
Common OCD signs are the recurring obsessive thoughts that cause worry, discomfort and sometimes disgust to the person experiencing them. These could include:
There are many other thoughts experienced by those suffering from OCD and these can be very personal to the person thinking them. Not everyone will experience thoughts and compulsions, but it is common for them to go hand in hand. Once the thoughts begin to take over, compulsive behaviours are created to manage the anxiety felt, and can include;
Thought and behaviour patterns can begin quite subtly, but increase in regularity and urgency as the OCD develops over time. Stress can be a major trigger for OCD symptoms and it is important for those affected to try and manage their lifestyle as much as possible to avoid such triggers - treatments such as CBT can help with this.
OCD can cause feelings of anxiety such as feeling tense, anxious, fearful, guilty, disgusted and even depressed. Carrying out a behaviour or ritual like those above can improve these feelings.
As with many mental health illnesses, there has not been a specific reason identified as to why a person may suffer with OCD. However, studies have shown that those with extremely high levels of perfectionism and feelings of responsibility can be at a higher risk and also those who have experienced anxiety, depression or have a family history of mental illness.
Children who have experienced trauma at a young age may develop compulsive behaviours to help manage their anxiety, and those who have witnessed a parent struggling with the illness will be at higher risk of developing it themselves due to learned behaviour patterns.
There are theories that OCD sufferers may have lower serotonin levels or higher levels of activity in their brain, but there is no concrete evidence to prove that this causes the OCD and could be a side-effect of the disorder itself.
There are a range of mental disorders which present similarities to OCD, and are often referred to as habit disorders. These disorders can also be helped with an OCD treatment plan.
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