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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition characterized by persistent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions can interfere with your daily life, causing significant distress and anxiety

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), it is essential to seek professional help to manage the condition effectively. At Bristol Health, we provide compassionate and comprehensive care for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). 

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms typically involve both obsessions and compulsions. However, it is also possible to experience only one or the other. The severity of symptoms can vary and may worsen during periods of stress.

Obsession Symptoms

Obsessions are recurring, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that cause anxiety or distress. 

Common obsessions in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) include:

  • Fear of contamination or germs
  • Unwanted thoughts about harm or aggression toward oneself or others
  • Intrusive sexual or religious thoughts
  • Excessive concern with order, symmetry, or exactness
  • Fear of losing important items or making a mistake

Compulsion Symptoms

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that you feel driven to perform to alleviate the anxiety caused by obsessions. 

Common compulsions in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) include:

  • Excessive hand washing, cleaning, or grooming
  • Repeatedly checking things, such as locks or appliances
  • Counting, tapping, or repeating certain words or phrases
  • Arranging items in a specific order or pattern
  • Hoarding items or having difficulty discarding possessions

Causes & Risk Factors of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The exact cause of OCD is not yet fully understood. However, research suggests that a combination of genetic, environmental, and biological factors may contribute to the development of the condition. Some potential factors include:

  • Family history: Having a close relative with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) increases your risk of developing the condition.
  • Brain structure and function: Imbalances in certain brain chemicals and irregularities in brain structure may play a role in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
  • Stressful life events: Traumatic or stressful events, such as the death of a loved one or a major life change, can trigger the onset of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in some individuals.
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders: There might be a link between various mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and tic disorders, which could elevate the likelihood of developing OCD. 

Preventing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

There is no guaranteed way to prevent OCD. However, early intervention and treatment can help reduce the severity of symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. If you notice signs of OCD in yourself or a loved one, it is essential to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Diagnosing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

A mental health professional will typically diagnose OCD through a comprehensive assessment, including a clinical interview, self-report questionnaires, and behavioral observations. 

To be diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), your obsessions and compulsions must be:

  • Time-consuming (taking up at least one hour per day)
  • Causing significant distress or impairment in your daily functioning
  • Not attributable to another mental health disorder
  • Unrelated to the effects of a substance or medication

Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a chronic condition, but with proper treatment and support, you can manage your symptoms and lead a fulfilling life. Some treatment options that your healthcare provider may recommend include:

  • Mental health medication: Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used to manage the symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
  • Mental health therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), specifically exposure and response prevention (ERP), is very effective in treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It involves gradually exposing you to your fear and teaching you healthier ways to cope with anxiety.
  • Mental Health testing & diagnosis: Mental health testing and diagnosis helps ensure the treatment plan can be tailored to your specific needs. 
  • Pharmacogenetic testing: This genetic test helps us understand how your body responds to medication based on your genetic makeup.
  • Lifestyle changes & modifications: Regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and reducing caffeine and alcohol can help manage Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms.

We will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that meets your needs.

Seeking Help for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in Utah County

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), seeking help from a mental health professional is essential. Early intervention can lead to better treatment outcomes and improve your overall quality of life.

Get in touch with Bristol Health at (801) 903-5903 or request an appointment to learn how we can assist you with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in Utah County. 

1125 W. Center St.
Orem, UT 84057

Fax: (801) 515-0935

If you are struggling and need someone to talk to right now, the resources below provide free and confidential assistance 24/7:
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988

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