OCD is a term that gets tossed around a lot in modern culture. Many people imagine Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) to involve sparkling clean kitchens, painstaking organization, and constant self-criticism. Of course, these behaviors all exist on a spectrum. A tendency for neatness and perfectionism becomes a disorder when it can’t be managed or controlled – and when it impairs your functioning in everyday life.
OCD consists of two components: obsessive thoughts & compulsive (or uncontrollable) actions. We imagine that compulsive actions must always consist of rituals that can be seen, such as constant hand-washing. Often, individuals with OCD engage in less visible compulsive behaviors—actions such as counting, praying, or mentally assessing your environment for safety, or obsessively worrying about sexual orientation or religion.
Although the true roots of OCD are most likely genetic or neurochemical, the characteristic compulsions of OCD typically develop as a soothing mechanism to curb unwanted or distressing thoughts.
To neutralize the intensity of these obsessive thoughts, individuals with OCD develop compensatory behaviors known as compulsions. These repetitive techniques—although affording temporary relief—are ultimately ineffective at relieving long-term anxiety. In fact, over time, these compulsive rituals become so consuming that participating in the behaviors and attempting to conceal them from others generates overwhelming distress.
Although many of these thoughts and behaviors are common in individuals without OCD—for a sufferer of OCD—obsessions and compulsions are extremely time-consuming, anxiety-provoking, and functioning-inhibiting. Fortunately, help is available for managing your OCD!
OCD is often a manageable condition. Lifeologie Counseling can help you work through, manage, and, with persistence, overcome your OCD tendencies. Contact us today to get started.