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Causes & Treatments of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

It is a psychological disorder in which people experience recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas, or feelings (obsessions). They feel compelled to perform something repeatedly to get rid of the thoughts (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors like hand washing, cleaning and checking on objects, and mental acts like (counting) or other activities can substantially interfere with a person’s daily activities and social interactions. A persistent mark the Obsessive-compulsive disorder, a chronic anxiety state.

However many individuals who do not have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder also experience upsetting thoughts or repetitive activities. But OCD patients have inflexible actions and intrusive, recurring thoughts since when the behaviors are not good enough, it frequently generates a tremendous deal of distress, which is frequently accompanied by a particular fear of terrible consequences. A cycle of recurrent obsessions and compulsions catch many OCD sufferers; here, we’ll quickly touch on both.

OCD Obsessions:

People who have OCD experience distressing and repeated cravings that are beyond their control. Obsessions are persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that bring on unpleasant feelings like fear, revulsion, or worry. Many OCD sufferers are aware of psychotherapy that these thoughts and behaviors are excessive or irrational and are the result of their minds. However, logic or reasoning is unable to alleviate the discomfort brought on by these intrusive thoughts.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Examples of typical obsessional thinking topics:

  • Fear of misplacing or ignoring something crucial
  • The Fear of germs or dirt.
  • Fear of engaging in violence or experiencing damage (to self or loved ones)
  • Extreme anxiety about symmetry, accuracy, or order
  • Fear of environmental or human contamination
  • Heightened sensitivity worry that something is incomplete

OCD Compulsions:

People with OCD use certain behaviors, habits, or routines to manage their obsessions and anxieties. They keep doing it repeatedly. They don’t like and don’t want to engage in these obsessive activities. Furthermore, they feel that their anxiety would get worse if they don’t follow along. However, compulsions are just a temporary solution. The compulsions quickly reoccur in response to the obsessions.

Examples of compulsions:

  • Placing or arranging objects in a specific order
  • Repeated cleaning of household items
  • Checking doors, switches, stove, locks, etc repeatedly
  • Excessive hand washing, bathing, or using the restroom
  • Avoiding specific individuals, places, or circumstances that make their obsessions and/or compulsions worse
  • Collecting goods that are worthless (in terms of intrinsic value)
  • Refusing to shake hands or touch items

People with OCD may also have tics which include quick, abrupt, and repeated motions or behaviors like:

  • Blinking their eyes
  • Jerking their head
  • Sniffling their nose or clearing their throat
obsessive-compulsive disorder

What causes obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Scientists don’t fully understand OCD. A person may be more likely to experience an episode of OCD if certain conditions or events occur:

  • Death of a loved one or another emotional suffering
  • Past abuse
  • Relocating, getting married or divorced, new work, or any other changes to one’s living arrangement
  • Illness (if you have any contagious disease, you may start a cycle of stressing about germs and washing constantly)
  • Issues at the office or school
  • Issues in a significant relationship
  • Low amounts of serotonin (a brain chemical that helps keep people mentally balanced)
  • Overactivity in areas of the brain
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) diagnosed

How is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) diagnosed?

The terms “obsessing,” “obsessed,” and “OCD” are frequently used in informal discussions. But the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V)) states that the following elements are used to diagnose OCD:

  • The person suffers from compulsions, obsessions, or both
  • The compulsions or obsessions consume a great deal of time per day
  • The obsessions or compulsions interfere with a person’s normal life
  • Drugs, alcohol, prescription medicines, or any other medical condition do not produce the same symptoms
  • There is no other psychological disorder that can explain the symptom

What treatments are available for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Patients with OCD who get effective therapy frequently report an improvement in functioning and quality of life. Through treatment, the ability of individuals increased to perform at work and school, enjoy relationships, and engage in leisure activities.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. During CBT therapy sessions, patients are exposed to feared scenarios or images that are related to their obsessions. Patients are advised to avoid performing their typical obsessive habit (known as response prevention). By staying in a feared situation without anything bad happening, patients learn that their afraid ideas are merely thoughts.

Medication: A type of medication known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or tricyclic antidepressants are typically used to treat depression and can also be beneficial in treating OCD. They increase levels of serotonin. Some examples are Clomipramine, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, Paroxetine, and Sertraline.

Exposure and response prevention (EX/RP): With this therapy, you engage in an anxiety-provoking activity. The medical professional then stops you from responding with a compulsion. For instance, the service provider can invite you to touch something dirty and then stop you from washing your hands afterward.

What occurs if CBT and medicines for OCD are ineffective?

If CBT and medication are ineffective in treating OCD, a healthcare professional may consider the following treatments:

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): Electrodes are placed on the head during electroconvulsive therapy. These wires shock the brain with electricity. The shocks bring small seizures which aid in the brain’s chemical release.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) stimulates the brain by using a magnetic device positioned on the head. The brain receives electrical signals from it. The impulses cause the brain to release chemicals known to uplift the mood.

    Novus Beginning Psychiatry: Your Path to Health and Wellness Starts Here!

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    Our highly skilled psychiatrists are experienced in a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorderOCDPTSDADHDautism, and more. We offer evidence-based therapies that have been proven effective in helping individuals overcome their challenges. From cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to couples/family therapy, we utilize the most up-to-date techniques to empower you on your healing journey.

    We also recognize that medication is vital in managing certain psychological health conditions. Our team includes Dr. Nibras, who is a board-certified psychiatrist well-versed in medication management. He works closely with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan, as we believe in the power of personalized care.

    So, take the first step towards a brighter future. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you in finding a convenient time to meet with our dedicated professionals. Call (832)856-4718 and let us help you take charge of your mental well-being.

    Medication Management For Psychiatric Wellness

    At Novus Beginning Psychiatry, we’re dedicated to helping you unlock the power of effective medication management. Our team of psychiatrists has years of experience and understands the importance of finding the right balance for your mental health journey. We offer personalized and compassionate care, creating medication plans that are tailored to your unique needs. Our understanding of psychopharmacology allows us to provide the most advanced and evidence-based treatments available. 

    Our goal is to help you by providing the right medications to enhance your therapy outcomes, reduce your symptoms, and improve your overall well-being. We want to be your trusted partner on the path to a brighter future. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Novus Beginning Psychiatry to experience the transformative effects of our comprehensive medication management approach.

    Who is Dr. Nibras?

    Dr. Sohail Nibras is a double board-certified psychiatrist in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He completed his education at Saint Louis University and the American University of Integrative Science. He excels in treatments based on psychiatric care and therapeutic sessions and has experience treating dual psychiatric and substance use disorders. He is an assistant professor at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He serves as an attending psychiatrist at Texas Children’s Hospital. He trains future psychiatrists and engages in scholarly research projects.

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