OCD Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD is a severe anxiety disorder which involves stressful, intrusive, obsessive thoughts (typically about something bad happening) combined with various rituals or repetitive behaviors to reduce the anxiety connected to those thoughts. Children and adolescents with OCD experience chronic worry, difficulties performing in school, ridicule from others, poorer school performance, and socialization difficulties. Untreated OCD often results in more serious and disabling rituals/behaviors developing over time.

OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a serious anxiety disorder that can cause extreme disruption to your daily life. In fact, people with severe OCD often have a much lower quality of life than people with other types of mental illness.

Even though OCD can’t be predicted or prevented, it can be treated. Adults, teens, and kids with OCD can work with professionals to learn how to manage their mental illness and succeed in life.

If you think you or your children need OCD help, contact the team at NeuroHealth AH. We offer neuropsychological assessments in Arlington Heights, IL so we can successfully diagnose our patients and provide them with customized, comprehensive treatment plans.

Understanding OCD

OCD is one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses, which makes it hard for adults to recognize OCD in their kids or in themselves. In reality, OCD is a chronic and debilitating illness that impacts both your thoughts and behavior.

OCD has two key parts: obsessions and compulsions. An obsession is a recurring thought that is almost impossible to get out of your head. A compulsion is a behavior that you feel compelled to perform as a result of the obsessive thought. Compulsions temporarily relieve the anxiety caused by the obsessive thought, but as soon as the compulsion ends, the anxiety recurs.

There are multiple types of OCD that center around different types of thoughts and rituals, but some of the most common obsessive thoughts include:

  • Thoughts about contamination, germs, and disease
  • Thoughts about taboo subjects like sex
  • Worries about self-harm or harming others

People with OCD who think constantly about germs might compulsively wash their hands—not just when they should wash their hands, like after sneezing, but every time they have the thought that their hands could be contaminated with something. This thought and compulsion can recur as often as once every five minutes or multiple times per day.

Diagnosing OCD

Again, OCD is much more extreme than simply wanting your desk to be organized or your hands to be clean. If you or your children have the following symptoms, OCD might be present:

  • You spend an hour or more per day on rituals like counting, hand-washing, or opening and closing doors.
  • Your rituals temporarily relieve your anxiety, but they don’t make you happy. As soon as you stop the ritual, anxiety sets back in.
  • Your rituals, compulsions, and obsessive worries significantly disrupt your everyday activities.
  • You recognize that your thoughts are irrational or obsessive, but you can’t seem to make them stop.

Since obsessive thoughts and compulsions reinforce each other, OCD tends to worsen over time without proper treatment. But no one has to suffer through OCD on their own. Instead, visit the professionals at NeuroHealth Arlington Heights to get the OCD treatment you need.

To learn more about how we can help, call (847) 754-9343.