Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is more than meticulous organization and strict cleaning habits. Serving the Washington, DC, metropolitan area in Bowie, Maryland, the licensed mental health care providers of The Modalities Group address multiple types of OCD, working with you to develop helpful coping strategies to manage your symptoms. Call the mental health center today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about OCD.
OCD is a mental health disorder that features unwanted obsessions, compulsions, or a combination. The repetitive thoughts and behaviors that OCD provokes can be all-consuming, interfering with a person’s interpersonal relationships, career, and overall quality of life.
Obsessions and compulsions often go hand in hand. For example, a constant fear of bacteria can lead to obsessive hand-washing, while disproportionate anxiety over intruders may cause you to check your locks multiple times before leaving home. These ritualistic behaviors and relentless thoughts can cause intense distress.
While there are multiple types of OCD, the most common are:
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted ideas or images that can invade your mind at any time. They are often contradictory to the way you usually think or feel. Many people experience offensive thoughts, such as hurting a loved one.
Contamination can make you feel unclean or overly vulnerable to bacteria and germs. Common signs of contamination OCD include frequent hand-washing, showering, cleaning, and even avoiding others.
OCD with ruminations is similar to intrusive thoughts, but individuals are more likely to focus on topics or problems with no solution rather than offensive thoughts. Without a clear solution, these thoughts can become obsessive and unsatisfying.
Checking stems from the anxiety that OCD causes. If you have OCD with checking, you may feel compelled to compulsively make sure your doors are locked, lights are turned off, or stove burners are off. You may not feel comfortable leaving home until you’ve completed checking everything.
If you have OCD with organization, you may have an irrational fear that when things are out of place, they can cause harm or pain to you or your loved ones. Making sure everything is in its correct place, symmetrical, and categorized are telltale signs of this type of OCD.
The most effective treatment for OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). A type of psychotherapy, CBT involves changing the way you respond to unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a form of CBT that encourages you to confront your obsessions in a controlled environment without acting on your compulsions. Over time, your fear of these situations may subside, reducing your anxiety and reliance on compulsions.
Call The Modalities Group today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about OCD.