OCD is a mental health condition that is characterized by obsessive thoughts that may lead to compulsive behaviors. Your mind may race with the same unwanted thoughts. In an effort to decrease the stress and fears brought on by these thoughts, you then engage in repetitive behaviors such as repeatedly washing your hands.
Some symptoms of Obsessive thinking include:
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of contamination
- Fear of hurting yourself or others
- Feelings of having to be perfect to prevent something bad from happening.
Some Symptoms of Compulsive behaviors include:
- Repeatedly checking that door is locked or oven is off
- Excessive washing of hands, grooming or cleaning
- Mental Compulsions
- Repeating the same actions over and over
Treatments for OCD include:
Exposure and Response Prevention – this involves a gradual and continual exposure to the source of your obsession while restricting your ability to perform your usual compulsive behaviors. This teaches you that compulsive behavior is not the only way to relieve your fears and anxiety.
Cognitive Therapy – Looks at the exaggerated and compulsive thoughts and teaches you healthier ways to respond to these thoughts.