OCD Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a severe anxiety disorder that can make it hard to get through everyday activities and lead to social disability.
OCD generally develops in late childhood or early teenage years. Without proper treatment, OCD can become a chronic condition.
People suffering from OCD generally know their behaviours are excessive, and as that may cause them shame, they try to keep their condition secret.
OCD is not the same as Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). OCPD manifests as people being very rigid and preoccupied with order, perfection and control.
There are two kinds of symptoms: obsessions and compulsions. The following list of common symptoms can help you decide whether to take the next step and seek assessment, diagnosis and support.
Some of the symptoms of OCD include:
- Fear of contamination
- Fear of hurting others
- Excessive preoccupation with following certain patterns or having things in order
- Worrying about forgetting to lock doors or leaving appliances turned on.
- Excessive cleaning, including hand washing, showering or house cleaning
- Compulsive checking of things, such as taps, locks or light switches
- Counting objects such as paving stones on a walk
- Hair-pulling, skin-picking
- Hoarding random objects
- Constant demands for reassurance from other people.
The obsessive nature of the behaviour, rather than the behaviour itself, is what’s important for diagnosing OCD. Additionally, people with OCD are likely to develop depression, and other anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder or social anxiety.
OCD Clinic Treatment and Diagnosis
A psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose OCD. OCD diagnosis can take time, but beginning the assessment process is a positive step towards recovery.
With advances in the understanding and effective treatments of OCD, there is more reason for optimism than ever. You can recover from this debilitating disorder with treatment, often through medication and psychological therapy.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT Therapy, provides the tools necessary to manage OCD symptoms. CBT therapy involves challenging and confronting distorted thinking that makes you overly anxious about intrusive thoughts, images and impulses. Some examples might be the belief that “if I have a horrible thought about harming someone, it means that I am capable of doing that” or “I can’t relax until I am 100% certain that everything will be ok”.
- Behaviour therapy involves exposure to the everyday situations in life that trigger the obsession (e.g. touching an empty rubbish bin lid) and then voluntarily preventing oneself from performing the compulsive ritual to relieve the anxiety (e.g. washing one’s hands to remove contamination). Through a natural process called habituation, the person will gradually experience less anxiety in response to triggers.
- Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a specific type of Exposure Therapy designed to treat OCD.
- Medication options are also possible, and these should be discussed with your GP or psychiatrist.
Seeking professional help from a local GP, psychiatrist, or psychologist is the first step in the journey to recovery from OCD. There are numerous clinics and psychologists in Brisbane offering a range of OCD therapy options.
The Importance of Seeking Help: OCD Clinics Brisbane and Online Therapy
Seeking professional help from a local GP, psychiatrist, or psychologist is the first step in the journey to recovery from OCD. There are numerous OCD clinics and psychologists in Brisbane that offer a range of therapy options, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT Therapy, exposure and response prevention (ERP), and medication.
Finding the Right OCD Clinic / OCD Psychologist Brisbane and Online Therapy
OCD therapy is available in Brisbane and is offered by a number of qualified psychologists in private practice.
OCD therapy is generally delivered through individual counselling sessions and can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Many therapists in Brisbane who offer OCD therapy also have experience working with a range of anxiety-related issues.
Finding the right OCD psychologist or OCD clinic in Brisbane is important. You may need to attend multiple sessions, so finding a psychologist that is close to your home or work can make it easier to attend appointments regularly. Different OCD clinics and psychologists may offer different treatment options. It is essential to research the available options and choose a psychologist offering the most appropriate treatment for your needs.
You can find an OCD psychologist online and call or send them an online booking request to learn about their experience, fees and availability. You can also ask for a referral from your GP or psychiatrist. It is important to ensure that the psychologist you choose is trained and experienced in OCD treatment therapy and understands the condition well.