Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: What is it?
By: Daniela Chica
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by prolonged intervals of repetitious and undesired thoughts and compulsions. About 2.2 million Americans live with OCD and 1/3 of people who develop the disorder first experience symptoms as children. Obsessive compulsive disorder can be a lifelong condition if left untreated and it can limit people’s ability to function in everyday life. Because OCD is an anxiety disorder, deviating from usual compulsions and obsessions can cause great distress. Some common symptoms of OCD are:
- Having repetitive thoughts or urges about a wide range of issues such as neatness, germs or violence
- Engaging in repetitious behavior such as washing one’s hands, hoarding, or locking doors
- Getting no satisfaction from engaging in one’s repetitious behavior, but still getting some form of relief from the anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts
- Spending at least an hour daily on repetitious behaviors and thoughts that affect one’s normal functioning
Although there is still much to know about obsessive compulsive disorder, researchers believe that biological factors increase the risk of developing the disorder. One is also more likely to develop the disorder if a first degree relative is diagnosed with the disorder. Abuse in childhood and trauma of any sort are often linked to OCD.
If you or someone you know has obsessive compulsive disorder and needs help, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.