in recognition of ocd awareness week, october 7-13, 2018
OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. As indicated in its name, OCD is made up of two kids of symptoms: Obsessions and Compulsions.
Obsessions are thoughts that get stuck repeating in your head. These thoughts are intrusive and persistent. They often make you worry that something bad will happen or make you think something feels wrong. Obsessions can have to do with any topic, not just germs.
Compulsions are acts that people do to help themselves feel better. These might be single actions or complex routines, or even things you do in your head. Checking, counting, saying certain things, and trying to make things perfect are examples of compulsions. There are many other acts that can be compulsions too. People with OCD believe the compulsions are the only way to stop their fear form coming true, but that is not the case.
OCD is treated using a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP teaches people to face their OCD without engaging in obsessions and compulsions. This is tough to do on your own, but much easier with the help of a trained mental health professional. OCD is like a brain trick, and ERP helps you take back charge over your thinking, feelings, and actions.
Some people also find it helpful to see a psychiatrist for medication to assist with tackling their OCD. Make sure the psychiatrist you choose has experience treating people with OCD.
Websites with additional resources:
International OCD Foundation: https://iocdf.org/
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies: http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_OBSESSIVE_COMPULSIVE