Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects a little under two percent of the population in the United States. At a ratio of three to one, more women than men experience OCD symptoms that range from mild to severe. While it primarily affects adults, children can also struggle with OCD.
When someone struggles with OCD, they might not understand that they’re dealing with a mental health disorder and could believe that their actions are normal. However, OCD is a mental health disorder, and even a mild case requires therapy to overcome the bulk of the symptoms and lead a more normal life.
OCD is a mental health disorder. A person struggling with this condition experiences obsessive thoughts that they can’t control, and these obsessions lead to specific patterns of behavior or compulsions. Many of these thoughts progress to outright fears that cause the person to look for ways to overcome the fear through compulsive acts.
Almost every person comes home at the end of a long day and relives a situation that happened during the day. They might wonder what they could have done or said differently. Some people always worry that when they leave the house, they left the oven on or forgot to feed the cat. However, they’re able to let the thoughts go.
However, someone with OCD will let these obsessive thoughts morph into fears, and they will take actions that calm those fears. For example, someone who struggles with OCD might constantly worry about germs. This can lead the person to refuse to shake hands with another person, or they might wash their hands every 10 minutes with scalding water.
Doctors and researchers don’t know the exact causes of OCD. They can’t explain why some people struggle while others don’t or why one person has a mild case instead of a severe one. Of course, there are some theories and risk factors regarding the mental health condition.
One possible cause is biological. A person struggling with this disorder might have a slightly different brain chemistry or something else in their physical body. Genetics might also explain why a person struggles with OCD in Orange County.
Some doctors argue that obsessive fears and compulsive behaviors are learned behaviors. A person struggling with the disorder watched a family member or a friend struggle with it, and they picked up these behaviors from the other person.
There are also some risk factors to consider that might lead to OCD. These include family history, another mental health disorder, or a traumatic event in the person’s life, where OCD becomes a way to cope with the trauma.
The symptoms of OCD will vary from one person to the next, as well as with the severity of the disorder. Some of the symptoms may seem like things that most people do or say at one time or another, such as worrying about leaving the lights on when the person leaves home for work or school.
People with this condition often experience intrusive thoughts that impact their day-to-day life. Intrusive thoughts are essentially unwanted thoughts that repeat in the person’s mind. These patterns of thought and behavior can be incredibly time-consuming for the struggling person.
A person who struggles with this condition doesn’t manage to move past their symptom like the person who worries they left the lights on does. Here are a few signs and symptoms to consider:
While this list isn’t comprehensive, it’s a starting point and provides insight into the thoughts and behaviors of someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder in Orange County.
Some of the behavior displayed by OCD sufferers can be shrugged off as normal for others. The difference is that someone with OCD can’t move past their thoughts or move on before they’ve completed the compulsive behavior.
Someone who struggles with OCD in Orange County will find that the disorder causes problems in their daily life, even if it’s a mild case. Their thoughts might cause them to be unable to concentrate at work or school, and the behaviors can also harm daily life.
If a person thinks they might be dealing with the disorder, it’s a good idea to locate an OCD center in Orange County and make an appointment for an evaluation. This can help them take the first step toward treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most popular mental health treatment programs for OCD. CBT works by helping individuals identify, challenge, and modify thoughts or beliefs that cause distress or anxiety. This type of therapy helps people learn how to recognize patterns in their thinking and behavior and then use strategies such as relaxation techniques and self-talk to manage symptoms more effectively. Research has shown that CBT can be very effective in reducing symptoms of OCD; in fact, it is believed to be even more successful than medication alone in some cases.
Medication is another common approach used to treat OCD. The most commonly prescribed drugs for this disorder include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). These medications increase serotonin levels—the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood—in the brain, which helps reduce obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors associated with OCD. While medication can be very effective in managing symptoms, it is important to note that it should always be used alongside other forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy or lifestyle changes, for best results.
Making lifestyle changes can also play an important role in managing symptoms of OCD. Eating a healthy diet full of nutrient-dense foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep every night, avoiding alcohol or drugs, and engaging in calming activities like yoga or meditation can help reduce stress levels and improve overall wellbeing. Additionally, talking openly about your feelings with family members or friends can provide much-needed support during difficult times—something that many people living with this disorder find invaluable on their journey toward recovery.
Even a mild case of OCD can affect the person’s daily life and routines, requiring treatment to overcome the effects. A person struggling with OCD needs to find a program that understands the intricacies of this mental health disorder and one that they feel the most comfortable with.
At Eden By Enhance in Orange County, California, our caring and compassionate staff works hard to be the OCD treatment center in Orange County that people turn to when they need help. Our therapist can help someone struggling with OCD explore their therapy options and undertake the one the patient is most comfortable pursuing.