Did you know that this week 10/8/15-10/15-23 is OCD Awareness Week 2023? Well it is! Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a highly misunderstood disorder and usually people think it means a very clean person who is worried about germs and washes their hands too much. That is only one small picture of OCD symptoms that falls under 'contamination OCD' subtype. There are many types of OCD - concerns about germs on one hand to hoarding on the other. They are all faces of OCD that all have equally devastating effects in the person's life over time.
What causes OCD? OCD is a devastating mental health issue and I've heard people misuse the term "I'm so OCD" or "I wish I had OCD" due to not understanding what it really is- please understand this is a serious and devastating disorder. It is not about cleanliness, germs or hoarding - for some that may be a focus of their disorder but these are only symptoms of OCD. People who have OCD have both obsessions (cycling thoughts and fears) and compulsions (things they do to alleviate the obsessional thoughts) and this becomes a cycling highly reinforced brain pattern that gets stronger over time. The underlying fears of what could happen are alleviated by the compulsions for even a moment in their mind so that can produce more and more avoidance of the fear.
Do I have OCD? Well, again - it's not just that you're clean or care about germs. People with OCD are suffering - often OCD symptoms can progress to a way that affects their ability to interact in life, work and family. It can also overlap with many other disorders, including substance use to numb the fears, eating disorders due to the obsessional patterns and depression/anxiety. Sometimes suicide.
OCD treatment - is it possible to get better? It is incredibly important to receive help and the treatment is exposure with response prevention (ERP), often combined with medications to help regulate the brain. ERP for OCD is an evidence-based approach where you face the thing you fear without using your compulsion. This type of work is very hard and often a 'slow and steady' approach is key with a hierarchical progression to conquer the fears and underlying anxiety. Bottom line - there is help and people deserve to get better so find someone you trust and start to take the steps to a better life because you matter, you deserve, and you're good enough.
OPEN DISCUSSION REGARDING TODAY'S HOT TOPICS!
Dr. Kelsey explores the actual science behind today's "hot topics". She also explores deep dive behind some of her featured media topics. Come aboard to see the simple solutions to complex problems!