Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects about 2.3% of American adults during their lifetimes — that’s nearly 6 million women and men. While it’s tempting to think of OCD as nothing more than having a few finicky habits, people who suffer from it have far more serious symptoms that can interfere with their daily lives.
Fortunately, medical treatment can help people with OCD learn to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. The key to getting fast, effective results is to begin treatment as soon as possible, working closely with your provider to ensure your therapy stays on track with your needs.
Betsy Serrano, PMHNP, and the team at Cora Health Solutions have extensive experience helping patients in the Biltmore area of Phoenix, Arizona, find the optimal therapy for OCD. Here, learn what symptoms OCD can cause and how therapy works to manage those symptoms.
OCD is a chronic disorder that causes persistent, invasive, recurring thoughts (obsessions); repetitive, ritualistic behaviors (compulsions); or both. With OCD, these thoughts and behaviors are so prevalent, they can interfere with daily living and cause significant frustration and unhappiness.
OCD behaviors are often linked with feelings of anxiety: Obsessive, anxious thoughts lead to compulsive behaviors in an effort to relieve that anxiety. Unfortunately, that relief is temporary, and the cycle repeats. Because you can’t control the obsessions or compulsions, OCD can become emotionally disabling, taking up to an hour or more of your time over the course of an average day.
OCD can manifest in different ways, sometimes motivated by anxiety over specific triggers, like germs or “accidentally” throwing away an important item. Other triggers can be more general — for instance, a fear of being harmed or a need to maintain rigid order in every aspect of life.
Some well-known compulsive behaviors include obsessive handwashing, counting behaviors, or repeating specific phrases in an effort to satisfy the obsessive urge and relieve the underlying anxiety. Without treatment, OCD often worsens over time, with some people turning to alcohol or drugs as a means of coping.
While OCD can be overwhelming and frustrating, therapies are available that can help. At Cora Health Solutions, we find many patients benefit from antidepressant medications, a mainstay in OCD management.
Today, the market contains many types of antidepressants, and each one works a little differently. That means it may take a little time to find the medication that works best for you. Our team makes this process simpler through GeneSight® genetic testing. GeneSight can help our team pinpoint which medications work best with your body’s metabolism, so you can find an effective medication more quickly.
In addition to medication, psychotherapy can be helpful in easing anxiety. Specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on “unlearning” negative behaviors while getting to the root cause of your OCD symptoms. Our team also provides ongoing support to help you learn self-care strategies aimed at improving your overall well-being and your quality of life.
Don’t let OCD take over your life. We can help. To learn more, call 602-584-8919 or book an appointment online with Cora Health Solutions today.