What is OCD?
We all experience that feeling of anxiousness or fear when we think we forgot to lock our car door or turn off the stove when we left our house. However, that little burst of obsessive-compulsive behavior that you experienced is not even close to what an individual diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder endures on a daily basis. For those who have been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, these feelings and behaviors are unwanted, uncontrollable, and very overwhelming.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, better known as OCD, is a mental health disorder in which individuals experience repetitive, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Unfortunately, these thoughts and behaviors negatively affect the way these individuals live their lives and may influence the way they think, their decision making, and their social behavior. Many individuals suffering from OCD feel hopeless because they are incapable of overcoming these compulsive thoughts and behaviors, but have not been successful when it comes to accomplishing this task.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is said to effect 1% of the U.S. population and is present in both men and women. Many individuals begin to experience OCD around the age of 19, but there have been many reports of OCD being recorded in teens as young as 14 years of age.
What Causes OCD?
Although it is unclear of what exactly onsets Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, there are many factors that have been identified as causes of OCD. Some of these factors may include:
- Suffering with other mental health disorders
- Family history of OCD or mental health disorder
- Suffering from neglect
- Inadequate support network
- Undergoing stress
- Experiencing the loss of a loved one
Signs & Symptoms of OCD
The symptoms displayed by individuals suffering with OCD can be broken down into two categories: obsessive symptoms and compulsive symptoms. While some individuals may favor symptoms from just category, many may suffer with symptoms from both.
Obsessive symptoms are very invasive and in no way wanted by the individual. Obsessions can include repetitive and consistent thoughts, images, or urges, and can decrease a person’s ability to focus on anything else in life. Obsessions may also lead to severe stress and anxiety. Some symptoms of obsessions may include:
- Suffering from undesirable thoughts
- Experiencing graphic, disturbing thoughts
- Seeing inappropriate thoughts in one’s mind that may be religious or sexual
- Suffering from excessive concerns that have to do with symmetry or arrangement of things
- Constantly worrying about germs or contamination of things
- Experiencing aggressive impulses
Compulsive symptoms are characterized by unusual behaviors that make people feel as though they are forced to perform even though they do not want to. When the compulsion to act on these behaviors comes about, individuals who suffer with OCD feel powerless and cannot avoid acting on these behaviors. If they do not act on these behaviors, they will experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Some examples of compulsive symptoms can include:
- Checking and re-checking certain tasks to ensure they have been completed
- The inability to stop repeating a task or word, such as turning a light switch on or off a certain amount of times before leaving a room
- Feeling compelled to touch objects a certain amount of times or a certain way
- Feeling the need to constantly rearrange things, such as your office desk or home furniture
- Having difficulties with throwing away items, also known as hoarding
- Engaging in behaviors excessively, such as bathing or cleaning
Long-Term Effects of OCD
When individuals are denied of or do not receive the proper treatment for their OCD, long-term effects will occur that can be damaging. In addition, when proper treatment is not received, the OCD symptoms that the individual suffers with will begin to intensify, which will lead to even more disturbances and issues in their life. The effects of untreated symptoms on OCD may include:
- Inability to meet employment expectations
- Isolation from others and flawed relationships
- Alienation from friends and family members
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
- Developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol
- Development of other mental health disorders, such as depression
Getting OCD treatment at FHE Health
Here at FHE Health, we pride ourselves in being on the forefront of mental health care, offering cutting-edge approaches that integrate the medical, psychiatric, and clinical components of treatment, such as our Neuro-Rehabilitative Services. We firmly believe that any mental health disorder diagnosis should be quantifiable and that the recommended treatments for our patients have been proven effective.
While other treatment centers diagnose based only the description of symptoms, also known as “guess work,” we utilize a series of biometrics, based on brain imaging, genetic blood testing, and other advanced protocols to provide our patients with a full interpretation of their condition. These biometrics and diagnostic tools are used to scientifically track the progression of treatment and even predict when our patients will experience a “flare-up” with their disorder. By using state-of-the-art systems, like our qEEG-guided Neurofeedback, we are able to personalize each patients’ treatment plan to fit their specific needs. In order to satisfy the needs of each patient, we offer an 8-Tier Neuro-Rehabilitative treatment program which includes:
- Comprehensive Neuro-Psychological Testing
- Heart Rate Variability & Biosound Monitoring
- Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG)
- QEEG-Guided Neurofeedback Training
- Electrical Nerve Stimulation Therapy
- High Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Stimulation Therapy
- Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy
- Computerized Cognitive Brain Training