Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder in which an individual experiences impairment due to the presence of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions refer to the unwanted, recurrent, and intrusive thoughts, images, urges, and feelings. Because these obsessions are unwanted and disturbing to the individual, they cause intense distress and discomfort, notably fear and disgust. In response to this discomfort, the individual then makes efforts to neutralize, prevent, or get rid of these obsessions through engaging in repetitive behaviors. These behaviors are the Compulsive aspect of OCD. They can be mental and physical. Individuals with OCD feel driven to engage in these behaviors, which are often excessive or unreasonable in relation to the initial trigger.
OCD can affect individuals from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. The most effective treatment for OCD are Exposure and Response Prevention. Inference-based CBT is another evidence-based treatment.
Many anxiety disorders are effectively treated using Exposure and Response Prevention and other Cognitive Behavioral approaches. These disorders include: phobias, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Many of the struggles my clients come to me with, like depression, constant worrying, difficulty managing stress, and low self-esteem, often trace their roots back to earlier experiences. The way we see the world, other people, and ourselves are strongly shaped by our childhood experiences. We often take the ways we coped with these childhood experiences with us into adulthood, well past the point of their usefulness. Healing from these interpersonal and intrapersonal wounds can take a lot of work, but it’s my honor as a therapist to hold that space for you.
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