Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD affects approximately 1-2.5% of the adult population and approximately 2-3% of children and adolescents. OCD occurs when intrusive thoughts or images (obsessions) produce anxiety and the person then engages in behaviors (called compulsions and/or rituals) to reduce the anxiety. Most individuals recognize that their obsessions do not make sense, but feel compelled to do their compulsions anyway in order to feel less anxious or uncomfortable.

Some of the more common forms of OCD are:

  • ā€‹fears of dirt, germs, and/or contamination and compulsive washing or cleaning

  • distress when surroundings lack orderliness or symmetry accompanied by arranging or ordering compulsions

  • fears of harm coming to self or others accompanied by compulsive checking and reassurance-seeking

  • intrusive sexual or blasphemous thoughts accompanied by compulsions such as avoidance, confessing, reassurance seeking, or ritualistic prayer

  • compulsive hoarding of items and possessions such that living and/or work space loses its intended functionality

Effective treatment of OCD involves exposure with response prevention (ERP), cognitive therapy and possible pharmacotherapy. We specialize in treating both the milder and more severe forms of this disorder. You will learn to gradually face the situations and thoughts that provoke your OCD while learning how not to respond with rituals, compulsions, reassurance seeking or avoidance. You will be supported as you confront the situations that OCD makes difficult and get used to it without giving in to the OCD.