Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can manifest in a wide variety of forms and intensity specific to the sufferer’s emotional and/or neurological structure, characterized by an experience of feeling stuck in repetitive cycles of thinking and/or behavior.
Over time, these feelings of being unable to change one's thinking or behavior can cause escalating feelings of anxiety and depression, until life becomes unmanageable. Popularized by movies like As Good As It Gets, Jack Nicolson’s portrayal of a man who has to turn the lock on his door the same number times each time he touches it and can’t step on sidewalk cracks, is actually a pretty narrow view of the condition.
The complexities of this particular diagnosis make it essential to see a mental health professional if you are concerned about the behavior in yourself or a loved one. Because obsessive and compulsive behaviors can be somatic, neurological, or behavioral, it is important to understand the cause in order to find the best treatment. If you have received a diagnosis of OCD from a mental health professional, depending on the severity and causality, it may be treatable by Behavioral Therapy.
Behavioral Therapy for Obsesseive-Compulsive Disorder
In general, Behavioral Therapy (BT) is about using ...
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is quite common and is estimated to affect over 2% of Americans. It is considered a chronic anxiety disorder that is fueled by obsessions (recurrent intrusive thoughts) and compulsions (repetitive behaviors or rituals).
Obsessions and Compulsions
Individuals suffering from this disorder are generally fully aware that their ruminations and rituals might appear ridiculous to others. Their anxiety compels them to engage in these rituals in rather scrupulous behavior. They are not usually aware why, but trying to stop themselves engaging in compulsive acts tends to evoke significant anxiety.
As a Christian counselor, I have witnessed clients with OCD who feared that failing to perform the ritual(s) would lead to some horrible consequence. A few of my clients felt that they were already responsible for some unfortunate situation that had already happened to them. Recognizing this in my clients made me realize the extent to which they were very exhausted, overwhelmed, and truly suffering.
OCD Sufferers In History
Throughout history, a number of well-known individuals have suffered from OCD. These include Martin Luther, John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress), Charles Darwin, Samuel Johnson, Howard Hughes, and Katherine H...
In a previous article, I sought to clarify the terms we use in speaking of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in order to help identify the disorder. I also attempted to normalize obsessional thoughts and emphasized the importance of accurately judging intrusive thoughts. In this article, I would like to follow up by outlining how avoidance and safety-seeking behaviors contribute to the vicious cycle of OCD. If you are struggling with what you think might be OCD or something similar, getting as much information as you can about some common symptoms and behaviors can help you to clarify your need for help. I will also outline how a Christian counselor can help if you think that you, or a loved one, are experiencing OCD symptoms.
Strategies That Provide Temporary Feelings of Safety
In discussing OCD symptoms and behaviors, it is always important to remember that OCD is a specific type of anxiety disorder. Obsessions are the persistent and repetitive thoughts, images or impulses that are experienced as intrusive and that cause distress or anxiety. Compulsions, on the other hand, are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that individuals enga...
Many people talk about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and may even diagnose it in others without truly understanding what it entails. OCD is a disorder that can have chronic consequences for those who suffer from it. In order to avoid the deteriorating consequences that OCD brings, it is most important to accurately identify the disorder and to seek help. This article will provide a Christian psychologist’s perspective on this disorder, and will give some helpful hints for identifying OCD and seeking treatment while taking control of obsessional thoughts.
Understanding the Terms
OCD is an anxiety disorder that is defined by the presence of obsessions or compulsions. These terms can be tricky to understand because, like the disorder itself, people often use terms like anxiety and obsession to describe many different types of thoughts, feelings or behavior. When identifying OCD, an accurate definition of these terms is important.
What Does it Mean to be Obsessive?
In the context of OCD, obsessions are defined as intrusive thoughts, ideas, images, impulses or doubts. These are experienced as unacceptable, senseless or bizarre and they evoke subjective distress in the form of anxiety or doubt. Some examples of typical obsessional themes include: aggress...