Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD, is a commonly misunderstood condition. You may feel like you can’t even open up to people about it because of all of the myths they’ll incorrectly assume are true about you. Left untreated, though, OCD tends to get worse. There is help available. You are not alone in this.
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
There are two key components to obsessive compulsive disorder: obsessions and compulsions.
The obsessions are your endless, persistent, constantly looping thoughts. The stereotypical OCD patient is the one who is obsessed with germs. They have thoughts about how dirty things are, or how sick they may get from touching something. This is definitely one type of obsession in OCD, and you may have it. However, you may not relate to this at all. People’s OCD obsessions are many and varied. They include:
- Fears about personal safety including break-ins, mugging, fire, etc.
- Fears around loss
- General feeling that something bad is going to happen
- Repetitive religious thoughts that are upsetting
- Thoughts about harming self or others
- Unwanted thoughts about sexual behavior
The second part of the condition is the compulsions. The compulsions are the behaviors that you do in order to cope with the anxiety that the obsessions cause. In the case of the person obsessed with germs, the stereotypical compulsion is frequent handwashing. Compulsions may include:
- Checking things repeatedly, such as whether or not a door is locked
- Counting items aloud or in your mind
- Hoarding items
- Organizing and re-organizing items to be symmetrical, alphabetical, color-coordinated, or “just so”
- Repeating certain phrases, sentences, or passages
Living with OCD is distressing. You don’t want your mind to keep obsessing. You wish that you could just shut it off and stop engaging in the compulsions. The more you try, the more distressing it can feel. The people around you don’t understand. We understand.
Myths About OCD
One of the biggest myths of OCD is that people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are dangerous. In particular, if you have the kind of OCD filled with intrusive thoughts about harming yourself or others or engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior, then you might worry about judgment. You might even give in to the myth yourself that you are a bad person who can’t control yourself from harming others. However, we know that this is just a myth. People with OCD are not any more likely than anyone else to harm others. We can help you see the goodness in yourself.
We understand that there are different types of OCD and many different ways that OCD manifests for people. We will never make assumptions about what it looks like for you. Instead we will learn from you how the condition presents in your life, how you’re already managing it, and how you’d like for it to be different.
We understand that every person’s experience of OCD is unique, and your path forward will be unique as well.
We offer a safe non-judgmental space where you can express your thoughts, fears, and obsessions. People with OCD sometimes worry that the people around them would be horrified to hear all of their internal thoughts. We welcome you to share these so that we can help you get past them.
Can Therapy Help with Your OCD?
Therapy for OCD is often highly successful. OCD is a form of anxiety, and therapy can help you to cope with that underlying anxiety so that you can find relief. We work with you to assist you in reducing the obsessive thoughts and the compulsive behaviors. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.