"I'm So OCD. "
You've probably heard this phrase countless times from friends and family, but OCD isn't just being particular about the organization or being very hygienic.
Having OCD requires a person to have obsessions, (recurring thoughts over and over again) and compulsions (physical behaviors and/or mental rituals that reinforce the obsessive thoughts)
A common type of OCD is "contamination OCD". An individual living with this type of OCD may constantly have an obsessive thought of "I'm dirty" or "I'm Contaminated" followed by the compulsion of constantly washing their hands or showering to temporarily remedy the obsessive thoughts.
The problem with this is although the handwashing may work temporarily, it needs to be constantly done, which can cause negative effects for the individual. E.G cracked knuckles, dry skin, not being able to leave the house for fear of contamination, etc.
There are other types of OCD such as scrupulosity, which functions in a similar way to contamination OCD, but instead of obsessive contamination thoughts, they involve obsessive spiritual/soul thoughts with accompanying compulsions.
Fortunately, OCD has an effective efficient evidence-based treatment.
ERP or Exposure and Response Prevention is a specific type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on slowly exposing the individual to their fear and delaying their compulsive response to their obsessive thinking.
An example might be an individual who slowly delays washing their hands after having an obsessive thought of being dirty.
This example is limited in nature and exposure therapy should be carried out by a trained professional.
If OCD sounds like something you may be struggling with, reach out now for a free 15-minute consultation.
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