Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common and chronic anxiety disorder. OCD is characterized by the presence of obsessions, compulsions or both.
Obsessions are considered unwanted recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images. To get rid of them, you may try to ignore them or engage in a compulsive behavior. However, obsessions can be very difficult to control. Some common symptoms include:
- Fear of contamination by uncleanliness
- Intrusive thoughts, often involving forbidden topics such as sex or violence
- Feeling a desire for order and control
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that you feel driven and compelled to do. They seem to help manage or reduce distress, but they often are unrealistic in their outcome. Some common symptoms include:
- Excessive hand washing and cleaning
- Constant organizing and re-organizing of personal items
- Repeatedly checking things, such as lights and appliances
- Frequent counting of random objects
Obsessions and compulsions can be time consuming and cause significant problems in your life. You may feel that your relationships, work, and home life are disrupted by their presence.
Adults, adolescents, and children can be affected by OCD. Often the symptoms become quite noticeable in adolescence; however, sometimes the disorder can occur later in life. Males typically have an earlier onset than females. The progression of symptoms is often gradual over time.
Risk factors for developing OCD include one’s temperament, environment, genetics, and neurological structures. Physical and sexual abuse in childhood or other traumatic events have been linked to those with OCD. OCD among first-degree relatives of those with an onset in childhood is approximately ten times that of those who do not have OCD. Abnormalities in certain brain structures have also been associated with OCD.
Fortunately, there are efficacious treatments for OCD. Medications, such as certain anti-depressants, have been found to alleviate the symptoms of OCD. A physician can work with you to identify which drugs might be helpful and address potential side effects. Psychological treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) have also been found to be especially effective in OCD treatment. Additionally, hypnosis is another treatment that can significantly improve OCD symptoms.
If you feel that your OCD is uncontrollable, is negatively impacting your relationships, or causing problems in your life, you might consider mental health counseling and treatment. Dr. Mazzei, Health Psychologist, has worked with numerous individuals in helping them overcome their symptoms. She specializes in CBT, ACT, and hypnosis, in addition to other helpful OCD treatments. Within a nonjudgmental and supportive therapeutic environment, she will help you gain insight, develop effective and long-term coping skills, and improve your overall functioning.
How do I get started?
The best place to start is by speaking to our staff, who can discuss OCD treatment with Dr. Mazzei, answer any questions about the process, and schedule a confidential appointment. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an initial consultation, please call or contact us today.
Connect with us
Evolutions Behavioral Health Services is conveniently located at 3120 N. Arizona Avenue, Suite 103, Chandler, AZ, 85225. Additionally, Dr. Mazzei offers teletherapy for online OCD treatment. You can reach us at (480) 448-6755.