The term “OCD,” is often loosely used in social situations to describe light obsessive behavior — like being a germaphobe or wanting your fridge organized a certain way. What’s important to note is that there’s a stark difference between “feeling” like you have OCD and actually being diagnosed as having OCD.
OCD, otherwise known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and in its truest form, is defined as “a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).” If you are diagnosed with OCD, this usually significantly impacts your daily life. Some examples of obsessive-compulsive behavior are:
Being so afraid of germs that you aggressively wash your hands (possibly more than once, or until your hands are cracked and bleeding).
Being so afraid of someone breaking into your house that you cannot leave your home unless you’ve checked, and double or triple checked, each one of your doors and windows.
Needing to have everything so neat and orderly that everything in your fridge, cabinets and/or drawers needs to be in a very specific position or order.
It is common in some cases that you can have obsessions without compulsions, or compulsions without obsessions, but they usually go hand-in-hand. What’s important to know is that you are not alone and these things can be managed effectively through counseling.
This typically includes one, or a combination of talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or exposure and response prevention (E/RP). When one or more of these methods are used to manage OCD, the patient has the opportunity to learn more about their OCD, what triggers it, and why it may be happening, which are all important if you want to be able to effectively treat it.
If you are feeling as though you may be obsessive, compulsive, or both, and it is affecting your quality of life, then it would be in your best interest to seek help. Here at AFHS, we can help you identify and treat your OCD and help you achieve the quality of life that you’re looking for. Please take a moment to fill out our contact form to get started.