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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What is OCD, its symptoms, and its treatment? Find the answers here.

What is Obsessive Compulsive Behavior?
Obsessive Compulsive Behavior (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that involves recurring, unwanted thoughts, sensations, or ideas (obsessions) that drives an individual to engage in repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions). Severe OCD can cause an extreme amount of distress and it can significantly interfere with an individual’s day-to-day life.

The causes of OCD aren’t fully understood yet; however, the main theories behind its cause include genetics, environmental factors, and changes in the body’s own natural chemistry or brain functions. Other risk factors include stressful life events and other mental health disorders.

What are the signs and symptoms of OCD?
The manifestations of OCD include behaviors that are both obsessive and compulsive.

Signs of obsession include:

depressed mature man talks to counsellor

  • Fear of contamination or dirt
  • Excessive double-checking of things
  • Excessive focus on moral or religious ideas
  • Order and symmetry (wanting things to be “just right”)
  • Intrusive violent or sexually explicit thoughts
  • Superstitions (excessive attention to something “lucky” or “unlucky”)

Signs of compulsion include:

  • Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they’re safe
  • Counting, tapping or repeating certain words
  • Excessive washing or cleaning
  • Ordering or arranging things to make them “perfect”
  • Praying excessively/engaging in rituals
  • Accumulating “junk”

How can Prime Behavioral Health help?
Prime Behavioral Health offers psychotherapy and medications as treatment for OCD. However, please note that some people with OCD can be completely cured after treatment, but there are some who may still have OCD but enjoy significant relief from their symptoms. Treatment is often more effective with a combination of medications, therapy, and certain lifestyle changes.

Learn More
Please contact us at 301-477-2128 if you have any questions or need any additional information. You may also Set An Appointment at your earliest convenience.

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or are concerned about a loved one, please contact Maryland’s Crisis Hotline at +1-800-422-0009 or you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone, you can use the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. For immediate crisis support, please call 911. For other resources, please visit https://www.mdcrisisconnect.org/.