If you can’t stop thinking unpleasant or frightening thoughts and find yourself having to spend hours every day performing rituals to try and cope, you should contact OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) expert Michael Banov, MD, at Psych Atlanta, with locations in Marietta and Roswell, Georgia. The team at Psych Atlanta has considerable experience helping patients who have OCD break free from their obsessions and learn to manage their compulsions. Call Psych Atlanta today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is a condition in which people have persistent, unwelcome thoughts, ideas, or feelings (obsessions) that compel them to carry out repetitive actions or rituals (compulsions).
There are lots of people who have tendencies towards obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors, but as a rule, these don’t interfere with their ability to carry on a normal life. Being compulsively neat and tidy, for example, often has benefits rather than being a problem, as long as your compulsions don’t start taking over.
If you have OCD, unwanted thoughts won’t go away and can cause significant distress. The compulsive behaviors often arise as a coping mechanism for dealing with the obsessive thoughts, but end up causing further distress if you can’t complete your rituals in precisely the right way.
Obsessions can develop over anything in your life or that catches your attention, but OCD obsessions are typically unpleasant or frightening, and often seem out of character. Taboo subjects are often the focus of obsessions.
Common types of obsessions include:
When these obsessions don't go away, the distress can lead you to try and control your feelings using activities that you feel you have to carry out.
Compulsions can take the form of any repetitive action, but common examples include switching lights on and off a set number of times, washing until your skin starts to bleed, and having to repeatedly check the door lock when leaving the house.
Logic and reason don’t work on OCD. You might be unable to accept that what you’re obsessed with isn’t real despite evidence of the truth, which is known as poor insight. Or you might be well aware that your obsessions aren’t factual, and still be unable to prevent yourself from carrying out compulsive actions.
Therapy is vital for people who have OCD. Approaches like CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), can help reduce the extremes of OCD. CBT enables you to regain control of your thoughts and create strategies to help you cope with the problems you come across in everyday life.
One-to-one psychotherapy at Psych Atlanta can uncover underlying causes for the development of OCD so that you can work through these issues. You might also need to take medication, such as anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs, which can help rebalance your brain chemistry.
Psych Atlanta also offers other innovative therapies for OCD if you’re still struggling, such as ketamine infusion therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
If you need help because your obsessions and compulsions are dominating your mind, call Psych Atlanta today or book an appointment online.