Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Uptown Psych

Psychiatrists & Therapists located in Uptown, Chicago, IL

Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, with its daily complications, can prevent you from living a healthy, full life. At Uptown Psych, located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the compassionate, highly-trained team of expert therapists is ready to help you understand this complex disorder and provide effective treatment to alleviate your symptoms. If your OCD is holding you back, let the trained team at Uptown Psych help you make sense of this disorder and get you back on track to optimal health.

OCD Q & A

Uptown Psych

What is OCD?

OCD is an anxiety disorder that involves repetitive, unwanted thoughts that drive you to do things over and over again. The repetitive behaviors associated with OCD can get in the way of your daily routines and social interactions.

If you have OCD, inability to do certain repetitive actions or behavior can cause overwhelming stress. These obsessions vary. Sometimes, if you have OCD, you know these obsessions are irrational, but in some cases, that isn’t the case. When you have OCD, it is difficult to divert your focus from your obsessions and stop yourself from compulsive action.

If obsessions and/or compulsions are time-consuming and hampering to the point where they cause distress and affect work and social function, then you may have OCD. It often begins in childhood, but on average, symptoms appear around age 19.

What are obsessions and compulsions?

Obsessions are persistent impulses or images that incite anxiety or other types of negative emotional responses. Typical obsessions for people with OCD include:

  • Being overly concerned by germs or physical harm
  • Obsessed with symmetry
  • Abnormal sexual or religious thoughts

Compulsions are the repetitive behaviors that obsessions drive people with OCD to perform. The goal with these repetitive behaviors is to decrease stress or fear in certain situations. They might temporarily bring you relief if you have OCD, but the obsessions recur and the cycle repeats itself. Some examples of common compulsions in people with OCD include:

  • Cleaning
  • Rearranging and ordering
  • Mental compulsions (praying, muttering silently)

Are there conditions related to OCD?

There are a number of conditions with features that overlap those of OCD; it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional. Also, these conditions can frequently occur in family members of people with OCD. Some of these include:

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Hoarding Disorder
  • Hair-Pulling Disorder
  • Skin-Picking Disorder

How do you treat OCD?

At the offices of Uptown Psych, skilled therapists treat OCD with both specialized medication and a steady dose of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Through the consistent practice of CBT, a therapist exposes you to situations that bring about anxieties and cause compulsive responses associated with the disorder. This technique can radically diminish symptoms for OCD patients.