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Recognizing OCD Behaviors

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) might be one of the most misunderstood mental health conditions that exists. While it’s often portrayed in a comedic light in popular media, with people joking about being “so OCD” because they like to keep their workspace organized, this disorder is a very real and debilitating condition for those who actually struggle with it. OCD behaviors exist on a spectrum, meaning that different people may experience the disorder in varying degrees of severity and with different specific behaviors. There are different types of OCD, different ways it can manifest, and different treatment options available. Understanding and recognizing OCD behaviors is the first step to helping those who struggle with this disorder.

Columbia Associates offers OCD treatment services in our mental health clinics in Maryland and Virginia. If you’re ready to take the next step towards managing your OCD, call 703.682.8208 today.

Common OCD Behaviors

Although many people may experience periods of anxiety or obsessive thoughts, these feelings don’t necessarily equate to having OCD. In order for a person to be diagnosed with OCD, their behaviors must significantly interfere with their daily life and cause significant distress. Someone experiencing “typical” levels of anxiety or obsessive thinking might not have full-blown OCD, but rather mild symptoms that can be managed without treatment. Some common OCD behaviors that may indicate a need for professional help include:

  • Repeatedly checking things, such as making sure the door is locked or the stove is turned off, even if you just checked it moments before
  • Excessive hand washing or cleaning to the point where it interferes with daily tasks and causes physical irritation or harm
  • A constant need for reassurance or seeking validation from others
  • Counting or repeating specific words, phrases, or actions in a ritualistic manner
  • Hoarding and difficulty parting with objects due to fear of needing them later
  • Intrusive thoughts that cause distress and lead to performing certain behaviors repeatedly in order to try and alleviate the anxiety they cause.

If you or someone you know experiences these behaviors, it’s important to seek professional help in order to properly diagnose and treat OCD.

Less Common OCD Behaviors

While the above behaviors are more commonly associated with OCD, there are also less common and often lesser-known behaviors that can indicate a need for professional help. These include:

  • Harm obsessions – Constant fear of harming oneself or others, leading to avoidance of certain objects or situations.
  • Symmetry obsessions – A strong desire for things to be perfectly symmetrical or in a certain order, often leading to repetitive behaviors to achieve this.
  • Sexual obsessions – Unwanted sexual thoughts or images that cause distress and lead to avoidance of certain situations.
  • Religious obsessions – Constant thoughts about sinning or committing blasphemous acts, leading to compulsions such as praying excessively or seeking forgiveness.

Even if a behavior is not listed above, it’s important to note that OCD can manifest in various ways, and behaviors may differ from person to person. It’s vital to seek professional help if these behaviors interfere with daily life and cause distress.

Treatment Options for OCD

Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available for those struggling with OCD. These include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be particularly helpful in managing OCD behaviors by identifying triggers and developing healthy coping mechanisms.

Every individual’s journey with OCD is unique, and therefore, the treatment plan should also be tailored to their specific needs. It’s important to work with a mental health professional who specializes in OCD and can provide personalized treatment.

Call Columbia Associates Today for OCD Treatment

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.