What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
OCD Can Worsen if Diagnosis and Exposure Therapy is delayed. When Symptoms Appear, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Exposure and Ritual Prevention treatment can Help.
Sufferers of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) experience symptoms that include recurrent, unwanted, obsessive thoughts, as well as rituals, also known as “compulsions,” which they believe they cannot control. OCD compulsions – such as frequent hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning – are often done with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away.
Anxiety is increased when these rituals are not done. But performing the obsessive compulsive actions only provides temporary relief. Left untreated, obsessions and the need to perform rituals can take over a person’s life. As is the case with other anxiety disorders, OCD sufferers who think they are cured may relapse. Therefore, relapse prevention is an important component of treatment.
Effective treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are available. Susan Haverty, MFT, is a licensed Sacramento Cognitive Behavioral Therapist whose practice is devoted solely to behavioral assessment and the treating of anxiety disorders such as OCD. She uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and exposure and response prevention when appropriate to successfully help patients and their families regain a more balanced and more rewarding life.
More About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
About 2.2 million American adults are affected by OCD.
OCD affects both men and women equally.
OCD typically begins during childhood, adolescence and/or early adulthood. At least one-third of the cases of adult OCD began in childhood. Research also indicates that OCD might run in families. However, family problems or attitudes learned in childhood, such as an inordinate emphasis on cleanliness, or a belief that certain thoughts are dangerous or unacceptable; do not cause Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Substance abuse and depression
Along with eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or other anxiety disorders such as phobias may accompany Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Symptoms of OCD can also coexist and be part of other disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome. Diagnosing and treating OCD becomes more complicated when coexisting with other disorders. The other disorders must also be diagnosed and treated if OCD is to be successfully treated.
How does someone get OCD?
There is growing evidence that OCD represents abnormal functioning of brain circuitry. Brain imaging studies using a technique called positron emission tomography (PET) have compared people with and without Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Those with OCD have different brain activity patterns from people with other mental illnesses or people with no mental illness at all. PET scans have provided graphic proof showing that behavioral therapy and medication together can be beneficial to patients with OCD.
General Treatments for OCD
Treatments for OCD have been developed through research. While Cognitive Behavioral Therapy alone has been shown to be an effective OCD therapy, combining medications and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has also been proven to work on patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique known as “exposure and ritual prevention” is the treatment of choice for OCD sufferers. This approach deliberately and voluntarily exposes a patient to whatever triggers the obsessive thoughts. Susan then teaches patients how to deal with anxiety and avoid performing the compulsive rituals. A patient considering this specialized treatment should be satisfied that the therapist has extensive experience in treating OCD, and has a sizable percentage of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder patients.
Family therapy is also often an integral part of Susan’s treatment of OCD patients.
Get Counseling When OCD Symptoms Appear
If you suspect that you or a loved one has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and you want an expert with a lot of experience call the Sacramento office of Susan Haverty at (916) 353-0750 to make an appointment.
Susan has patients from the greater Sacramento area, including West Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Roseville, Folsom, Davis, Rancho Cordova, Yuba City, Rocklin and Woodland.