When does perfectionism become obsessive-compulsive disorder? Do I need counseling for OCD?
OCD counseling will help if your perfectionism begins to take over your life. Most of the time, perfectionistic behaviors are a preference, not a compulsion.
In fact, 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.
How Does OCD Develop?
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.
These intrusive (or obsessive) thoughts commonly include
- Irrational fear of committing a violent or sexual crime: murder, assault, rape, incest, pedophilia, etc.
- Fear of harming yourself or others: a careless accident, such as forgetting to switch off a gas stove and unintentionally sparking a house fire
- Fear of losing your sanity: paranoia about hallucinating or dissociating from reality
- Fear of contamination:via germs, bodily fluids, chemicals, or disease
- Fear of angering God or of going to Hell
- Obsessions with perfection, balance, or symmetry
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.
Common compulsive behaviors include
- Cleaning: repetitive hand washing or showering; avoiding dirty or “contaminated” objects
- Checking: inspecting appliances to ensure all household items are switched off; checking and rechecking to confirm that each door in the house is locked
- Replication: repeating a certain action until it’s execution feels perfect; tapping an item a specified number of times before permitting yourself to proceed to other activities
- Mental Compulsions: counting, praying, or rehearsing conversations in your head
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!
Our innovative team of counseling experts uses an array of traditional and alternative therapies to help you regain control of your life. In addition to traditional talk therapy methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), we also offer:
- Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Yoga therapy
OCD is often a manageable condition. Don’t suffer alone. Let our team of experts help you with your obsessive compulsive disorder. Call us today!
Meet our counselors who specialize in this issue
- Kim SalisburyE-RYT500 Yoga Alliance, Yoga Therapist with IAYTDallas OfficeFees: $100 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Anxiety Disorders, Dealing with Chronic Illness, Dealing with OCD, Depression, Eating Disorders, Exercise Addiction, Extreme Dieting, Geriatric Counseling, Insomnia, Mindfulness Training, Panic Attacks, PTSD Recovery, Stress Management, Virtual Counseling Sessions, Yoga Therapy
- Jenny WangLPC, LPC-SupervisorFriscoFees: $150 for a 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Anxiety Disorders, Christian Counseling, Christian Marriage Counseling, Couples Counseling, Dealing with OCD, Death & Dying, Depression, Divorce & Adjustment, Divorce & Breakups, Emotional Abuse Recovery, Family Issues, Grief & Loss, Infidelity, Kids, Teens & Tweens, Life Changing Events, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, Sexual Abuse Recovery, Trauma & Abuse Recovery, Tweens & Teens
- Calvin BurnsLPC Intern, supervised by Ly Tran, LPC-SFrisco & Plano/RichardsonFees: $105 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Anxiety Disorders, Christian Counseling, Christian Marriage Counseling, Couples Counseling, Dealing with OCD, Depression, Divorce & Breakups, Major Depression, Marriage Counseling, Newlyweds, Relationship Issues, Suicidal Thoughts, suicide prevention