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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
"The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
Individuals who suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder experience unwanted thoughts (obsessions) about such things as germs, disease, chemicals, fear of harm happening to themselves or another, concerns about perfectionism, religious obsessions, or intrusive sexual thoughts. Compulsions help the individual cope with the uncomfortable experience of their intrusive thoughts and can include such things as excessive cleaning, washing, counting, checking and rechecking things, repeating specific actions or bodily movements, arranging things, or collecting things. In most cases, sufferers are aware that their thoughts and behaviors are irrational; however, they feel powerless to stop the cycle.
Individuals may avoid certain triggering situations, experience social isolation, find themselves unusually challenged in the workplace, and encounter relationship difficulties. Self-esteem is also impacted by embarrassment and feelings of shame.
OCD affects approximately 2-3 million people in the United States according to the International OCD Foundation. OCD affects men, women, and children of all races and backgrounds equally. The specific causes of OCD are not known. Significant research indicates OCD may have genetic influences.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is most often treated with psychotherapy and may or may not include medications. While medications such as anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants do not cure OCD, they may help manage its symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and, particularly, Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) have been found to be helpful for individuals suffering from OCD. Statistically, according to the International OCD Foundation, on average, about 70% of patients with OCD will benefit from either medicine or CBT. Of those who respond to medication, OCD symptoms show a 40% - 60% reduction. Those who respond to CBT/ERP have reported a 60% - 80% reduction in OCD symptoms.
We have provided a series of materials below that you may find helpful in seeking general information. For specific information about your situation, please seek the assistance of a licensed professional therapist who specializes in Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.
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