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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) typically involves obsessions and compulsions, obsessions can take the form of intrusive thoughts, these thoughts are often “unwanted” “involuntary” and very automatic in nature.

A person that experiences unwanted thoughts will usually attempt to engage in a behaviour often known as a compulsion. Sometimes compulsions are not observable, meaning that the person can engage in a ritual in a more covert or hidden way such as mental counting or mental visualisation.

The person engages with the compulsion, such as hand washing in order eliminate the unpleasant feeling associated with experiencing the thought of “feeling contaminated”.

Although, this may create a sense of relief (engaging in compulsive behaviours), this relief is very short lived, this often creates a never-ending cycle, almost a loop of obsessions followed by compulsions.

It’s also important to understand that OCD, does not only take shape in the form of the stereotypical “contamination OCD”, such as hand washing, it could also develop to many forms such as – order/symmetry, religion, self-control, harming OCD and several other types.

What type of treatment is usually recommended for OCD?

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) which is a cognitive behavioural intervention is the gold standard treatment for OCD, this consists of identifying potential triggers such as thoughts, objects, and places, therefore any type of stimuli that activates the person’s obsessional thinking.

During ERP, it is important that the psychologist and client work as a team to help the client get the best out of therapy so that the client can experience a reduction in anxiety and develop a different relationship/perspective of the anxiety that is accompanied with their obsession/compulsions.

 What should I do if I feel I might symptoms of OCD.

Please contact our clinic at your earliest convenience, we provide services that will assess possible symptoms of OCD and create a treatment plan with a therapist to help you become more confident managing these symptoms/behavior’s.

Lee Sepe
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