Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is an often misunderstood problem, even among professional therapists. Many people associate OCD with being overly clean or orderly, but OCD can involves any number of themes, and some people with OCD are actually more disorganized in struggling with OCD.
Obsessions are persistent thoughts that the person experiences as intrusive and unwanted. They are very distressing, and often very disturbing to the individual.
Compulsions or rituals are behaviors or mental acts performed in an attempt to get rid of or neutralize obsessive thoughts. These could include any number of repetitive behaviors that may become more consuming over time. Compulsions may include mental rituals (e.g., a particular phrase; counting; prayer), and it may involve seeking-reassurance from others or from exhaustive research (e.g., Internet).
Some forms of OCD don’t have clear obsessions. For example, people with “just right” OCD may be extremely bothered if objects appear out of place, but they cannot articulate a specific fear or consequence.
Many people with OCD don’t actually believe their obsessions; however, they are so distressing that they want to get rid of them and/or they may fear they cannot tolerate the distress associated with the obsessions.
If you have any questions about whether you might have OCD, give one our clinicians a call. Our OCD specialists can often identify if someone may have OCD from a brief phone conversations. Sometimes, the symptoms are more ambiguous, and may require 1-2 in-person meetings.
OCD does not tend to respond to basic talk therapy and requires a more deliberate and structured approach. Contact us at the Portland Psychotherapy Anxiety Clinic to discuss treatment options. To find out more information about OCD and treatment, check out Dr. Thompson’s OCD website.