Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is comprised of two main types of symptoms: intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety that can be difficult, or impossible, to control (compulsions). There are about as many ways to experience OCD as there are people with OCD on the planet. Common symptoms of OCD include:
Fears of getting sick or dirty, or making other people sick or dirty
Needing things to be symmetrical, orderly, or "just right"
Unwanted sexual or violent thoughts
Concern that you might cause or already have caused harm to yourself or someone else
Superstitious fears that do not make sense to you
Excessive religious or moral concerns
Certain types of perfectionism
Worries that you might be responsible for something terrible happening (e.g., checking the stove again and again to make sure the house does not burn down)
These symptoms have likely become time-consuming, frustrating, or impairing over time. Luckily, the current gold standard treatment for OCD, exposure and response prevention (EX/RP, or ERP), is extremely effective. With evidence-based treatment, you are likely to experience substantial relief from these symptoms.
There are other conditions that are related to OCD, but involve slightly different treatment, such as Hoarding Disorder and Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (skin-picking, hair-pulling). These conditions can also be successfully treated with appropriate treatment!
OCD AND RELATED DISORDERS
TREATMENT FOR OCD
Our clinicians provide the most effective available psychotherapy for OCD: Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP). EX/RP is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). With EXRP, you learn how to get your freedom back - how to ride the waves of emotion when the obsessions hit - how to gain the strength to fight against compulsive urges. An EX/RP therapist is like your mental health personal trainer - encouraging you and helping you get stronger with practical exercises and strategies. Over time, EX/RP leads to a sense of mastery over OCD and relief from the time-consuming and life-limiting symptoms that OCD entails.
OCD-related conditions are also best treated with forms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), tailored to the specific symptoms of concern.