Like many other mental illnesses, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is shrouded in misinformation and misrepresentation, causing confusion and guilt for those who actually experience OCD.
If you’re having intrusive thoughts and compulsions that make it difficult to get through the day, consult an expert who can determine whether OCD is behind those behaviors and who can help you learn to overcome and accommodate them.
As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Ifeanyi Olele of Genesis Psychiatric Solutions can identify symptoms of OCD and make a definitive diagnosis before creating a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your condition.
Before getting into the symptoms of OCD, we want to discuss what the disorder is and how it manifests. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic mental health condition that can influence your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
People with OCD experience both obsessions and compulsions; hence, the name. Obsessions cause recurring, intrusive, and distracting thoughts about the subject of the obsession, while compulsions often manifest as repetitive actions, routines, and rituals.
Signs of OCD
OCD can manifest in many different ways, and each person has their own obsessions and compulsions. Even if you share traits with another OCD patient, you receive individualized care to address your specific needs and concerns.
That said, there are four general types of OCD. Thoughts and behaviors that align with these are considered telltale signs of OCD and an indication that further diagnosis is necessary:
- Cleanliness and contamination, or an obsession with germs, hand-washing, and hygiene
- Intrusive thoughts, even ones that don’t align with your values and make you feel bad
- Hoarding, keeping items of little to no sentimental or monetary value
- Symmetry and ordering, or an obsession with keeping things organized and “just right”
We can break down each of these signs into more specific symptoms, such as compulsive counting, checking things over and over, religious fervor, and persistent guilt about yourself, others, and the subject of your obsession.
Diagnosis and treatment
The first step to getting a diagnosis is finding a specialist who listens and addresses your concerns. At Genesis Psychiatric Solutions, Dr. Olele works with patients to make them feel comfortable talking about their obsessions and compulsions in a safe, judgment-free environment.
Keep a diary or notebook that logs your feelings, including thoughts and behaviors you struggled with that day. This gives Dr. Olele a better understanding of how your OCD manifests and how to approach it.
From there, he can recommend treatment options, combining talk therapy and medication to help you manage your condition, reducing repetitive behaviors and helping you cope with intrusive thoughts.
Are you struggling with your mental health? Do you suspect you might be suffering from OCD? Contact us today at one of our locations in Fairfax or Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, DC; Los Angeles, California; or Boca Raton, Florida.
We offer a free consultation and telepsychiatry appointments.