Do you find yourself repeating specific behaviors or rituals because they make you feel safe? It’s possible that you could have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a common but often misunderstood mental health condition. At Esperanza Behavioral Health and Services in Orlando, Florida, Fredesvinda Jacobs-Alvarez, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist, diagnoses OCD and provides personalized treatment. If you’re concerned about obsessive-compulsive disorder, call or schedule a consultation online today.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a mental health disorder that causes recurring, distressing thoughts or sensations, which drives repetitive behaviors. The negative beliefs are obsessions, and the actions are compulsions.
Almost everyone follows a particular routine, perhaps checking that they’ve locked the front door before they walk away. OCD causes persistent and unwanted routines that often get in the way of your daily responsibilities and activities.
Obsessive thoughts or feelings and compulsive behaviors are the hallmark symptoms of OCD. What makes obsessions and compulsions different from everyday concerns or behaviors is their uncontrollable and distressing nature. Compulsive behaviors don’t bring pleasure, only temporary relief from your fears.
Obsessions are unique to each patient, although there are some common themes such as:
Obsessions are persistent and distressing. Your fears and worries are typically disproportionate to the actual risk.
Compulsions are the repetitive or ritualistic behaviors that your obsessions drive you to complete. For example, if your obsessions are about contamination, you might compulsively wash your hands or clean your home. You might also spend too much time ordering or arranging items in a precise way or repeatedly checking things.
Other common compulsive behaviors include counting, repeating phrases silently or aloud, or touching or tapping things.
When left untreated, OCD symptoms become more intrusive and can cause significant problems in your daily life.
At Esperanza Behavioral Health and Services, you begin with a psychiatric assessment, which allows your provider to evaluate your condition and its impact on your life. Then, they create a treatment plan, which they tailor to address your individual needs.
Often, Esperanza Behavioral Health and Services combines medication with counseling services to treat OCD. For example, medicines like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can help reduce your OCD symptoms by regulating your brain chemistry and neurotransmitter activity.
As your symptoms subside, you can focus your attention and energy on therapy. Your provider customizes therapy to address your needs.
They can help you learn to recognize your negative thoughts and feelings and adjust your responses. You might practice controlled exposure to your triggers to learn emotional and behavior regulation strategies.
Call Esperanza Behavioral Health and Services today or make an appointment online for compassionate and customized treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder.