Things you should know about OCD:

  • Many many people have OCD tendencies
  • OCD is treatable
  • There is an OCD spectrum from mild to severe
  • Not everyone with OCD washes their hands over and over, OCD presents itself in many different ways
  • Reassurance is a BIG part of OCD
  • Living with Doubt is the key to treatment for many people with OCD

When parents come into my office or call me on the phone to talk about concern they have for their child and OCD is mentioned, there is often a panic reaction. My first reaction is to say that many people have OCD tendencies, including myself.

The key to OCD treatment is to recognize the OCD and work on facing the anxiety (the obsessions) and to refrain from engagings in rituals (compulsions). People with OCD or OCD tendencies engage in compulsions to releave their anxiety but what compulsions do over time is make the anxiety worse.

The focus of OCD can be the following and may include many other things:

  • Food Contamination
  • Fear of Death or Loss (not allowing loved ones to go anywhere)
  • Identity Theft
  • Fear of Harming Others
  • Perfectionism (the right order of things)
  • Concern with a need to know or remember

The difference between OCD and a specific phobia is that OCD includes Obsessions and Compulsions.  Here is an example:

Obsession: Fear of Harming Others

Compulsion: Checking that you did not/will not harm others; Checking that nothing terrible happened

A phobia in some ways is simpler than OCD.  If someone has a phobia, they are afraid of something (driving) but they do not necessarily obsess over it.  Rather, they just avoid it, or avoid the parts that are scary.

If you think you or a loved one has OCD or a phobia, get help now.  You do not have to live in fear.  

For much more information on OCD go to http:www.ocfoundation.org