An estimated three million men and women in the United States suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. This serious, chronic condition causes uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors that can negatively impact all aspects of your life. Michelle Zyla, APRN, PMHNP-BC, at Minds In Balance Psychiatry in Peoria, Arizona, has expertise in treating mild to severe OCD. Michelle can help you regain control over your thoughts and behaviors, so you can participate in daily activities and enjoy a full, productive life. Call the office or use the online booking form today to schedule a consultation.

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What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition in which irrational thoughts and fears drive you to perform repetitive behaviors. Obsessions refer to irrational thoughts, whereas compulsions refer to repetitive behaviors.

Many people exhibit mild obsessive-compulsive traits, like performing a specific ritual before they leave the house every day.

When your obsessions and compulsions interfere with your ability to perform daily activities, however, you may have a diagnosis of OCD. It’s a severe condition that can dramatically impact your ability to function, relationships, and overall quality of life.

What are the symptoms of OCD?

OCD symptoms fall under the two categories of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions involve persistent, intrusive thoughts or urges that cause distress. Compulsions include repetitive behaviors that you believe will alleviate the stress caused by the obsession.

Examples of obsessions include:

  • Fear of germs
  • Distress when objects aren’t arranged symmetrically
  • Intrusive thoughts about harming yourself or other people
  • Urges to speak or behave inappropriately

Examples of compulsive behaviors include:

  • Excessive hand-washing
  • Repeatedly checking doors, windows, or the stove
  • Repeating a word, phrase, or prayer
  • Arranging household items in a rigid pattern
  • Swearing or behaving sexually at inappropriate times

You may understand the unreasonable quality of your obsessions and compulsions but feel compelled to perform them repeatedly. In some cases, patients with OCD don’t recognize that their symptoms could indicate a mental health condition.

What causes OCD?

Some factors contribute to OCD, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Stressful life events

Other mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, can also contribute.

What are some treatments for OCD?

The two main treatments for OCD are psychotherapy and medications. Often, treatment is most effective with a combination.

At Minds In Balance Psychiatry, your provider, Michelle, designs personalized treatment plans to address specific OCD symptoms.

Your plan may include counseling and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This evidence-based technique helps you retrain your thinking so you regain control over your obsessive urges.

Medications, including anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants, help many people find relief from compulsive actions and intrusive thoughts. Michelle partners with you to find the best medicine and dosage for your needs.

You don’t have to deal with OCD on your own. Minds In Balance Psychiatry can help you manage overwhelming thoughts and restore your quality of life. Call the office or book an appointment online today to get started.