One of the most common mental illnesses in America, Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder that is prevalent among seniors. Obsessive-Compulsive thoughts and actions take up time and energy. Seniors suffering from OCD may not be able to maintain a healthy, daily routine while trying to manage these distractions. As the memory and body weakens, many seniors develop anxieties that can trigger obsessive compulsive symptoms. For example, an older adult can begin to worry that they will not be able to get food due to their frail state. This idea can then cause them to hoard food. A fear of contracting an illness may cause seniors to repeatedly wash their hands. Many of these symptoms can go unnoticed as OCD in seniors can look normal or take on the appearance of other mental health disorders like generalized Anxiety. It is therefore important to receive diagnosis from mental health professionals that experienced in evaluating older adults.
IDCC clinicians are trained in diagnosing the older adults who are experiencing symptoms of OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can take on the form of many other mental health issues including Anxiety, Trauma, and Depression, we therefore facilitate a comprehensive analysis to provide a thorough diagnosis. Seniors many times have caregivers and family members that are also affected. Clinicians ensure those within the patient’s network are fully educated on all matters and can therefore help with the coping process and administering medication if need be.
OCD is treated with therapy and medication. Seniors with OCD usually respond better to treatment with certain medications and/or exposure-based psychotherapy, in which people face situations that cause fear or Anxiety and become less sensitive (desensitized) to them.
Antidepressants are sometimes used in conjunction with therapy for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder.
Because OCD with seniors often causes issues for caregivers and other family members, your doctor may recommend family therapy, which promotes an understanding of the disorder and can help reduce family conflicts.