What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

ocdObsessive-Compulsive Disorder is categorized as an anxiety disorder. Individuals who suffer from this psychiatric disorder experience obsessions—recurrent and intrusive thoughts that lead to anxiety—and compulsions—repetitive behaviors that develop in an effort to reduce the anxiety. When the compulsions are completed, the individual often feels a temporary relief of anxiety; however, they soon return to thinking about their obsessions, bringing the compulsions back. This often consumes hours of an individual’s time daily.

Oftentimes, obsessions are thoughts of having to organize or regain order, cleaning something that has been dirtied or contaminated, or having to “ward off” something bad from happening. Compulsions can include organizing, making objects symmetrical, cleaning, counting, repeating, and more.

How does Wellington Retreat treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

OCD is effectively treated with a combination of medicine and psychotherapy. Oftentimes, patients are placed on medicines that act on the serotonin system in the brain, such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Anafranil. While these medicines are extremely effective, they can take weeks to start working. Therefore, patients begin to undergo psychotherapy right away, which is commonly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In CBT, the patient learns to identify all of the obsessions and compulsions they suffer from and order them in terms of severity, or the degree of difficultness to resist. Then, they begin to experience the obsession without giving into the compulsion. When the patient’s anxiety begins to subside when the compulsion cannot be completed, they begin to make progress.

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