Understanding and Treating OCD

OCD Symptoms, managing OCD, Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be a confusing, disruptive condition that influences your thoughts and actions. While lots of people have some mild compulsions — checking often for their wallets or phone — with OCD, repeated thoughts and actions can become uncontrollable.

As a result, you may engage in illogical behaviors and struggle to cope with your anxieties on a daily basis, making it difficult to manage your career or even the simplest activities.

At Progressive Behavioral Health, the board-certified psychiatrists offer both treatment and support to help you effectively manage your OCD symptoms. The goal of each treatment plan is to restore structure and stability in your physical and mental health.

How OCD affects thoughts

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a complex condition triggered by obsessive thoughts. These thoughts can cause mental distress and leave you feeling overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. While you may realize your obsessive thoughts are extreme or illogical, you may find them hard to control.

Your thoughts may cause you to become fearful of everyday things and situations, such as:

You may also develop aggressive thoughts about yourself or others.

Thoughts lead to actions

Due to the obsessive nature of your thoughts, you may develop behaviors that are repetitive and disruptive to your life. Performing certain actions may give you a sense of relief. Common actions associated with OCD include:

Some people with OCD can develop a tic disorder, a condition where rapid, repetitive movements, such as throat clearing or eye blinking, occur uncontrollably.

For some, repetitive actions and intrusive thoughts can take over their whole day, while others may spend just a few hours engaged in these behaviors.

While performing repetitive tasks may provide you with anxiety relief, you may recognize your actions are illogical and you don’t achieve pleasure from doing them.

Strategies for managing your OCD

Symptoms of OCD can come and go, getting better or worse over time. Without proper treatment, the stress of OCD symptoms can trigger the abuse of drugs or alcohol and cause you to isolate yourself from others.

Thankfully, effective management strategies are available to reduce the intrusive thoughts and obsessive actions. The compassionate psychiatrists at Progressive Behavioral Health will customize your treatment to meet your health needs and the severity of your symptoms. The best course of treatment often involves both psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, and medications.

Your therapist can discuss the nature of your obsessions and compulsions, focusing on ways to help you change your behaviors and thought patterns during your therapy sessions. They may recommend strategies to reduce stress in your life, such as staying physically active and practicing meditation or other stress-relieving exercises. And medications can reduce the frequency and severity of intrusive thoughts.

The effectiveness of OCD treatments

Medication therapy does take time to work, but it can provide you with long-term results. Your physician will work closely with you to find the right dosage to reduce your intrusive thoughts and ease your compulsive behaviors.

By taking the medications as recommended, you can experience a significant reduction of your symptoms within the first 4-6 weeks. Psychotherapy can help you learn coping strategies to better manage your symptoms while giving the medication time to work.

Continued psychotherapy is also essential for identifying triggers that may be causing your OCD symptoms. With the support of your doctors, you can end the cycle of disruptive behaviors and enhance your quality of life.

To get relief from your OCD symptoms, book an appointment online or over the phone with Progressive Behavioral Health today.

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