ocd

What is OCD?

People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder struggle with persistent intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, and urges that cause significant anxiety or distress. To alleviate the unpleasant feelings, one will typically perform rigid, repetitive behaviors or mental acts aimed at reducing or neutralizing the anxiety produced by the obsessions. Obsessions can come in many different forms, including fears of contamination, preoccupation with superstition and preventing bad things from happening, thoughts of harming oneself or others, concerns with symmetry or order, inappropriate sexual thoughts, and apprehension centered around themes of religion and morality, among others. OCD however, is often recognized more by what people’s compulsions look like. Compulsions frequently appear as rituals such as cleaning or washing, checking, repeating, hoarding, and sorting, but can also take the form of “mental” rituals that regularly go unnoticed by others. Approximately 1 in 100 adults and 1 in 200 children and adolescents have OCD.

Our Method

Our approach to treating OCD combines a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy with psychodynamic psychotherapy (traditional in-depth talk therapy). Starting with the premise that the ways you think and behave strongly affect how you feel, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing self-defeating and irrational thinking and behavior patterns. It is a highly effective modality, proven to be particularly helpful in treating anxiety disorders and OCD. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a subset of cognitive therapy and is the gold standard in treating OCD. ERP therapy involves "exposing" yourself to the distressing thoughts and images (in a safe and nonjudgmental space) with the goal of learning to cope with the discomfort in resisting physical and mental rituals/compulsions. Over time, you should notice a decrease in the intensity of your anxiety—until one day you find it no longer affects you. 

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OCD Can Be Overcome

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a crippling malady. When the thoughts and rituals of OCD are intense, one’s work, school, family, and social life can disintegrate. The most compelling obsessions create absurd, embarrassing, or frightening thoughts that repeat in an endless loop. With severe compulsions, rituals dominate the day. People suffering from OCD are unable to stop performing the time-consuming and exhausting “magical” behaviors and mental acts that they know don’t make sense but serve to neutralize anxiety brought on by the obsessive thoughts. All the while, family members and close friends are usually at a loss for how to respond or are painfully unaware of the person’s private anguish. That said, one can overcome OCD and live a more gratifying life. Whether you’re experiencing fear of contamination, preoccupation with superstition and preventing bad things from happening, thoughts of harming oneself or others, concerns with symmetry or order, inappropriate sexual thoughts, apprehension centered around themes of religion and morality, or something else, we can work together to help reduce the intensity of the obsessive thoughts and eliminate the need to perform compulsions. In other words, you can get back to leading a normal life again.

info@millhousetherapy.com  |   484-356-7964   |  New London Township, PA 19352