Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects almost 2.5% of American adults, and for half of patients, the symptoms are significant enough to severely disrupt their lives.
As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Ifeanyi Olele of Genesis Psychiatric Solutions in McLean, Virginia, and Washington, DC, provides comprehensive care plans for patients suffering from OCD, including talk therapy and medications.
Causes of OCD
It’s unclear what causes OCD, although there’s evidence of a familial link. Having a parent, sibling, or child with OCD, especially if their OCD was diagnosed in childhood, significantly increases your own chances of having OCD.
At any rate, brain imaging scans of people with OCD show certain differences in specific areas compared to brains of people without OCD. More research is definitely needed.
Most people with OCD are diagnosed by age 19, although diagnoses can come as late as age 35 or older. Diagnoses are split almost evenly between men and women, but gender may affect expression of the disorder.
Men are more likely to be diagnosed in childhood, be single, have facial or hand gesture tics, display more aggressive and sexual-religious symptoms, and abuse substances.
Women are more likely to be diagnosed in their 20s, live with a partner, have an eating disorder, display more contamination and cleaning symptoms, and have problems with impulse control.
When most people think about OCD, they are reminded of how it is portrayed in film, on TV, or in writing.
Typical symptoms include compulsive hand-washing and cleaning of surfaces, fear of germs, counting or reciting facts obsessively, or performing simple tasks over and over, like turning a light switch on and off or locking, unlocking, and relocking a door.
But there are many more symptoms of OCD, including:
- Inability to handle uncertainty
- A need for symmetry
- Aggressive thoughts about losing control, harming others or oneself, or causing an accident
- Unwanted sexual or religious thoughts or actions
OCD must be managed. We cannot cure it. But with appropriate treatment, you can enjoy life and keep unwanted thoughts and actions to a minimum.
Dr. Olele consults with you and lays out an OCD treatment plan to help you regain control over your life. This may include talk therapy to help you recognise when your OCD is taking over and medication to help control unwanted impulses or obsessions.
With proper counseling and treatment for anxiety, you can learn to manage unwanted OCD symptoms. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Olele. We also offer telepsychiatry appointments.