What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive disorder is identified as intrusive thoughts or fears that leads to a specific behavior. A common example of OCD is one obsessives over a specific thought such as the fear of being contaminated which triggers them to wash their hands.

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The cycle of OCD

The  cycle of OCD starts with an obsessive thought. This can be the thought of having dirty hands. Next, as this thought lingers in ones mind they start to get anxious that their hands are actually dirty. After their anxiety builds they get a sudden urge or compulsion to wash their hands. After giving into the compulsion of washing their hands they feel a sense of relief. This relief is only temporary as the thoughts will just come back and this time it will be even harder to resist.

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Treatment

OCD treatment includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). CBT includes learning what that OCD is sending the brain false alarms which trigger anxiety and the urge to comply. ERP consist of doing exposures that trigger your anxiety. For example, touching an object that you may think is dirty and then sitting with the feeling of being dirty and not washing your hands.

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