Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

By: Ria Shah

What is OCD?

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviors you feel compelled to perform.
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Signs and Symptoms

Obsessions are involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind. Compulsions are behavior that one is driven to do repetitively.

Obsessive Thoughts

  • Repetitive double checking
  • Paranoia
  • Counting or tapping or repeating phrases to ease anxiety
  • Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning
  • constant rearrangement
  • hoarding
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for OCD

1) Exposure and response therapy: involves repeated exposure to source of obsession

2) Cognitive therapy: focuses on why you have an exaggerated response to your obsession and why you fear it

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Four Steps for Conquering OCD

  • RELABEL: Recognize that the obsessive thoughts and urges are the result of OCD
  • REATTRIBUTE: Realize that the intensity and intrusiveness of the thought is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain.
  • REFOCUS – Work around the OCD thoughts by focusing your attention on something else
  • REVALUE – Do not take the OCD thought at face value. It is not significant in itself.
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Self-Help for OCD

  • refocus your attention
  • write down obsessive thoughts or worry
  • anticipate OCD urges
  • create an OCD worry period
  • practice relaxation techniques
  • adopt healthy eating habits
  • excercise regularly
  • get enough sleep
  • join a support group
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