young man in hat puts sticky notes on window in an ocd treatment centerObsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can take over your life. There are OCD treatments that can help. You can learn to control the symptoms of OCD.

Approximately one out of 40 people in the United States will be diagnosed with OCD. That means more than 2% of the population may be living with OCD. Some OCD patients have also developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol. This must be addressed as part of obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment.

About half of the people who suffer from a mental illness also abuse drugs. It is not uncommon for people to try to calm OCD obsessions by using substances. About 70% of people with substance use disorders report having obsessive-compulsive disorder. For many, OCD symptoms went on for at least a year before developing an addiction.

Diagnosis and OCD Treatment Can Change Lives

Proper OCD diagnosis by a medical professional or mental health professional is essential. There are other conditions that share or mimic some of the symptoms. Examples include social anxiety disorder, depression and schizophrenia. OCD symptoms may also be present in other mental health disorders. It’s important to get the correct diagnosis and start treating OCD.

Promises Treatment Centers provides comprehensive treatment of OCD. Some of our programs treat clients with a primary mental health diagnosis. Other programs treat mental illness when it co-occurs with a substance use disorder. We not only address symptoms but also underlying issues.

Our approach to obsessive compulsive disorder treatment includes traditional and alternative approaches. One of our goals is to help you develop healthy coping skills. You’ll learn mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to manage intrusive thoughts. Our mental health professionals also use other therapies for OCD.

What You Need to Know About OCD

OCD involves irrational impulses, thoughts, urges, and behaviors. It may include a compulsive ritual or repetitive behaviors. Patients with OCD may check, order things or count. This is an attempt to self-soothe mental health symptoms or feel in control.

Many people with OCD have intrusive thoughts in addition to repetitive behaviors. These symptoms interfere with everyday life and occupy a significant amount of their time and energy.

Obsessive compulsive disorder may run in families. If a parent has OCD, their children are at higher risk for developing the disorder. Stressful and traumatic life events are also known to increase the risk. Examples include:

  • Abuse
  • Serious illness
  • Death of a loved one
  • Problems in school or at work

OCD often arises during adolescence or early adulthood.

OCD Symptoms

OCD symptoms vary from person to person. These common signs can be addressed in inpatient obsessive compulsive disorder treatment:

  • Showering or washing your hands repeatedly
  • Checking things like door locks or stoves
  • Overzealous cleaning
  • Constant counting while performing everyday tasks
  • Arranging things in a symmetrical way
  • Eating foods in a particular order
  • Unrelenting fear of being a victim of violence
  • Repeating specific words, phrases or prayers
  • Intrusive sexual thoughts
  • Collecting or hoarding items that have no real value
  • Extreme fear of germs or contamination
  • Distress if things or events don’t occur in a particular order or way
  • Feelings that behaviors and thoughts are uncontrollable
  • Intense ruminating thoughts (sometimes around taboo topics)
  • Gaining a sense of relief from compulsive behaviors
  • Substance abuse or disordered eating behaviors

Possible consequences of OCD include problems in relationships and at work. People may begin to isolate themselves. They fear being “found out.” This leaves them vulnerable to depression. People may turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping strategy. They may feel better for a while, but substance abuse only serves to worsen their OCD obsessions. This, in turn, can lead to more drug abuse and a dangerous cycle ensues. An experienced OCD treatment center can help.

OCD Therapy

You can learn to manage your symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication may help. Common medications include:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Other antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

You may need a residential OCD treatment center if you have co-occurring mental health disorders or abuse drugs. This treatment option provides distance from triggers and support from mental health professionals. Psychiatric staff can assess current prescribed medications as appropriate.

Our mental health professionals use approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma-focused therapies. We help OCD patients by:

  • Addressing issues that might lead to compulsive behaviors
  • Teaching relaxation techniques
  • Identifying when obsessive thoughts are an attempt to self-soothe
  • Determining if OCD obsessions are a way to gain a sense of control
  • Teaching techniques like mindfulness to help with intrusive thoughts

OCD vs. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is not the same as obsessive compulsive disorder. One important distinction is that patients with OCD have unwanted thoughts. Those with OCPD believe their thoughts are correct. Another difference is that OCD generally begins in childhood. But OCPD usually starts in the teenage years or early 20s.

OCPD is marked by rigidity, perfectionism, control and an excessive concern with work. This comes at the expense of close relationships. People with this personality disorder find it difficult to relax. This is due to their preoccupation with rules and attention to detail.

Signs of obsessive compulsive personality disorder include:

  • High achiever – feels a sense of urgency about what they take on
  • Upset if others attempt to interfere with their rigid routines
  • Difficulty expressing anger
  • Often anxious or frustrated
  • Perfectionism that interferes with the ability to complete tasks
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Inflexibility, especially with morality, ethics or values
  • Difficulty showing affection
  • Inability to throw things away even when they have no value, in the belief that they may someday have value
  • Extreme reluctance to delegate tasks
  • Preoccupied with details, lists and rules
  • Excessively devoted to work

Reclaim Your Life

Our mental health professionals provide expert treatment for OCD. We can help you take back your life. Call us for a confidential consultation.

Posted on July 21, 2017 and modified on April 13, 2019