Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is real and may require seeing a psychiatrist from Westport for professional help. Learn more about the condition here.
1. What is an obsessive-compulsive disorder?
OCD is a subset of anxiety disorder that is driven by obsession and compulsion. Obsession means having intrusive, successive and long-term thoughts, urges, and images, which can lead to feelings of anxiety, panic, or distress. As an example, a person may be obsessed with the fear of having their house burgled.
Compulsion, on the other hand, is a behavior an anxious person does to reduce the negative feelings or worry. Following the example above, the person may keep checking the doors and windows at night or repeat the motions of locking and unlocking the passageways.
2. How does a doctor diagnose OCD?
It’s normal for a person to have obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors once in a while, so it’s important to set up criteria on what makes it a disorder.
In hindsight, the person needs to have both, and these obsessions and compulsions should be intrusive enough they affect the quality of life. For example, the negative ideas may occupy their thoughts the whole day. They avoid certain activities to feel safe or have the need to perform certain actions to satisfy themselves and reduce their anxiety.
The individual may also have to undergo physical exams such as blood tests. This is to rule out any underlying condition that may be causing symptoms that are similar to that of OCD.
3. What are the best treatments for OCD?
Like other mental disorders, people with OCD may have to take medications or undergo psychological treatment. Many experts, however, believe cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is more practical and effective. In a study conducted by National Institutes of Mental Health, the success rate of behavior therapy was 86%. Medications had 48%.
OCD affects and manifests in different ways among different people. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It is, therefore, necessary to have a professional step in and develop an individualized treatment plan.