Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms are unique to each individual, but some common patterns do exist. The condition is characterized by obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors that significantly interfere with daily life. Obsessions are unwanted, recurrent, and disturbing thoughts, impulses or images that are difficult to suppress.
Symptoms of obsessions include:
Compulsions are repetitive, ritualized behaviors that a person feels driven to perform to alleviate the anxiety or discomfort created by the obsessions. Symptoms of compulsions include:
At IDCC, we provide evidence-based treatment for OCD. Treatment includes exposure and response prevention, as well as strategies to enhance emotion regulation and adaptive coping which help people manage their personal stressors.
During an initial evaluation, we aim to assess symptom presentation, treatment goals, and the level of treatment appropriate for each person. Our clinicians also offer medication consultation and management to ensure the medication is the correct dosage and taken responsibly.
Consistent with IDCC’s approach to treating mental illness, we first consider a form of psychotherapy, not medication. The most trusted psychotherapy option for OCD is Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy.
ERP exposes individuals to the thoughts, images and objects that trigger anxiety in order to give them the tools they need to prevent responding to anxiety with compulsions and rituals. This therapy is conducted in a controlled environment and is always facilitated by mental health professionals who have been trained in ERP therapy.
If deemed necessary, medication is an option that has seen success in treating OCD. A series of trials on different medications is not uncommon to ensure adverse effects, if any, are kept to a minimum.