Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is closely related to anxiety disorders. It can be experienced as obsessions, compulsions or both.
In the United States, OCD affects approximately 1 in 100 children and 1 in 40 adults every year. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is closely related to anxiety disorders. It can be experienced as obsessions, compulsions or both. Obsessions are intrusive, uncontrollable and repeated thoughts, urges or images that cause anxiety or distress. Compulsions are behaviors that one feels compelled to perform repeatedly to reduces their obsessions, or the anxiety caused by the obsessions. Compulsions can be mental acts such as counting, or physical behaviors such as rearranging items (to be symmetrical, for example). Most adults with OCD recognize that their thoughts and behaviors don’t make sense; however, insight can vary from person-to-person and from time to time for any one person. Not surprisingly, children will have a much harder time recognizing the irrationality inherent in OCD.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a chronic disorder that can be life-long. It can be managed well with a reduction in the frequency and intensity in symptoms. One of the most effective treatment for OCD is Exposure and Relapse Prevention (ERP), which is a type of Cognitive BehaviorTherapy (CBT). In fact, 70% of people who receive ‘first-line’ treatments consisting of ERP will experience beneficial results. Depending on the severity of the OCD symptoms, therapy appointments could be one to three times per week initially. The skills learned in ERP will provide you with tools that can benefit you for the rest of your life.