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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

Need help finding treatment & support? Learn more from SunCloud Health, a leading outpatient facility serving Chicago and suburbs.

Find caring, effective outpatient treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorders.

At some point, you have probably had a thought or urge that just wouldn’t go away. Most people have. But for some, those obsessions can become all-consuming and can lead to serious damage to their health, lives, and mental well-being.

IMPORTANT: People suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are at an increased risk of suicidal thoughts. If you are having these thoughts, call 911 now or go to the nearest emergency room.

WHAT IS OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that sends people into cycles of obsessions and compulsions.

  • Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intense distressing feelings.
  • Compulsions are behaviors someone engages in as an attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease their distress.

OCD symptoms typically first appear in teenagers and young adults, but it is a disorder that can present at any age.

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WHAT ARE SOME COMMON SYMPTOMS OF OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER?

Every person living with OCD will experience symptoms differently. The common thread though, is that these symptoms are unwanted, intense, and disruptive to all aspects of life.

Some common obsessions include:

  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, or harm
  • Aggressive thoughts toward one’s self or others
  • The need for things to be symmetrical or in perfect order

Some common compulsions include:

  • Excessive cleaning and/or hand washing
  • Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way
  • Repeatedly checking that things are in order or have been done correctly
  • Urgent and repeated counting

If you or a loved one have shown any of these symptoms or display similar cycles of obsessions or compulsions, it may be time to talk to a professional about the next steps toward potential treatment and recovery.

IMPORTANT: Untreated OCD symptoms can feel overwhelming and can cause you to feel hopeless. If you are having suicidal thoughts, call 911 now or go to the nearest emergency room.

DON’T STRUGGLE ALONE

Find Compassionate, effective help now.
(866) 729-1012 Or click here to send a secure message.

WHAT CAUSES OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER?

While doctors and researchers aren’t sure why some people suffer from OCD, they have identified some risk factors that might increase the chances of developing symptoms.

These include:

Family history: People with first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) suffering from OCD are more likely to develop OCD, themselves.

Trauma: Childhood trauma, including physical or sexual abuse, can lead to an increased risk of developing OCD later in life.

Brain structure and function: Certain areas of the brain (the frontal cortex and subcortical structures) have been shown to work differently in OCD patients.

Gender: Women are more likely to be living with OCD than men.

While much of OCD and it’s causes remain a mystery, research continues to help us develop a better understanding of the disorder and how best to help those suffering from it.

DON’T STRUGGLE ALONE

Find Compassionate, effective help now.
(866) 729-1012 Or click here to send a secure message.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED TREATMENT?

This is a fair question and one many people struggle to answer.

Consider the following:

  • Do you spend more than an hour a day on an obsession or a cycle of obsessive thoughts?
  • Do you often feel that you are unable to control your obsessions or compulsions?
  • Are your compulsions affecting your daily life?
  • Are your job, family, and/or relationships negatively affected by your cycle of obsessions and compulsions?

While living with OCD can be difficult and disruptive, it does not have to be. The good news is that you’ve come here looking for information and we’re here to help. Call us at SunCloud Health. We can help you better understand your disorder and help you take the next steps toward your treatment and recovery.

DON’T STRUGGLE ALONE

Find Compassionate, effective help now.
(866) 729-1012 Or click here to send a secure message.

HOW IS OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER TREATED?

No two treatment plans for OCD are the same because no two people experience OCD in quite the same way.

While there is no cure for OCD right now, there are research proven methods for treating symptoms and helping people learn to better manage their own mental health.

Treatments do typically include some combination of medication and psychotherapy.

  • Medications often include serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SRIs) that can help reduce symptoms. Though, for those that are not helped by SRIs, anti-psychotics may be used.
  • Psychotherapy has proven to be an extraordinarily beneficial complement to medical treatments. Some studies suggest that effective psychotherapy can be as or more effective than medication for many patients as they learn to control their obsessions and reduce their compulsions through a variety of types of therapy.

While treatment may seem intimidating, know that OCD is a serious mental health disorder that can take a significant toll on your life and well-being. Finding a team of empathetic professionals can help not only make treatment a smooth and gentle process, but can get you back to living a life in control of your symptoms and your overall mental health.

DON’T STRUGGLE ALONE

Find Compassionate, effective help now.
(866) 729-1012 Or click here to send a secure message.

WHAT IF OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER ISN’T THE ONLY ISSUE?

Living with untreated OCD can be difficult and weigh heavily on your life, your mind, and your emotional well-being. According to recent research, 90% of people living with OCD symptoms develop other mental health problem, referred to as co-occurring disorders. Some common issues include:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • And a variety of others, all of which can compound the difficulties people living with OCD face every day

At SunCloud Health we specialize in, not only a wide range of individually occurring disorders, but in the treatment of co-occurring disorders, as well. Our expert team has helped hundreds of people in the Chicago area who started their journey with symptoms of one diagnosis, only to find they were dealing with more than one issue. We know from experience that with the right support, you can learn to manage your symptoms and create a life that is calmer and more fulfilling.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO STRUGGLE ALONE

Find Compassionate, effective help now.
(866) 729-1012 Or click here to send a secure message.

HOW CAN SUNCLOUD HEALTH HELP?

At SunCloud health, we believe an integrated approach to the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder gives our patients the best chance at leading an uninterrupted life with OCD. After getting to know you and your individual needs, we may recommend a combination of:

  • SRIs
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP)
  • Or other treatments based on your individual needs

As a Chicagoland leader in mental health treatment, we are ready to build a plan with you to get you the support you need to manage your OCD symptoms and retake control of your life. We’ve helped hundreds of people just like you, and we’re ready to use that experience and expertise to get you on the road to recovery as well.

DON’T STRUGGLE ALONE

Find Compassionate, effective help now.
(866) 729-1012 Or click here to send a secure message.

VIDEO: IN AND OUT OF TREATMENT SEVERAL TIMES WITH LITTLE SUCCESS?

Emily Long discusses how patients benefit from an integrative treatment approach and how that contributes to a more effective treatment experience at SunCloud Health.

LIFE AFTER OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE TREATMENT?

While OCD is a chronic disorder, one that you’ll live with for the rest of your life, it doesn’t have to control the rest of your life. Through SunCloud Health’s integrated treatment plan, you’ll learn to manage your symptoms and lead a happy and uninterrupted life.

As an outpatient treatment Center SunCloud Health is in an ideal position to stay by your side throughout every stage of your treatment. We have multiple levels of outpatient care available to you, and we’ll continue to be your partner in creating and maintaining a treatment plan that works for your unique experiences.

Like you, our goal is to get you to a place where you’re in control of your symptoms and your mental health. Know that once you’ve started a relationship with us, we’ll dedicate ourselves to your continued treatment and be available to support you in whatever way makes sense for you as you reclaim your life and learn to live comfortably with OCD.

Reach out to us today to begin the conversation.

VIDEO: IS THERE HOPE FOR MY RECOVERY?

Dr. Marcia Nickow, Psy.D., CADC, CGP shares her thoughts on hope for recovery at SunCloud Health.

Living with depression and anxiety my entire life has been plain and simply just terrible. I have been on a merry go round of medication for decades and I have been diagnosed with just about every “mood disorder” out there. Often, I would turn to some form of self-destructive behavior as a way to deal with my pain and despair, and until recently I felt like this was just the way it was going to be forever. When I came to see Dr. Kim, I felt like I had met the “Dr. House” of Psychiatry (great TV series!). She actually spent countless hours in therapy with me and my family properly diagnosing me for the first time in my life and getting my medication finally on the right track. She is anything but a typical psychiatrist who spends maybe 10 minutes with patients and then runs out. The experience at SunCloud helped me see that, with ongoing support, I can actually live a normal and stable life.

~ SCH patient

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