Psychiatry located in Financial District, San Francisco, CA
OCD Q & A
What is OCD?
OCD is a type of anxiety disorder in which recurring, intrusive thoughts and fears — obsessions — drive you to repetitive behaviors — compulsions. While it’s normal to fixate on a thought or idea or to follow behavioral patterns, such as a bedtime routine, OCD causes disruptive and distressing thoughts and uncontrollable behaviors that prevent you from your day-to-day responsibilities and interfere with your relationships.
What is the difference between obsessions and compulsions?
Obsessions are persistent and recurring thoughts and impulses that cause distress, fear, and disgust. While you may recognize that your obsessions are thoughts, you may not be able to control them with logic and reasoning. Some common obsessions include cleanliness, a need for symmetry or preciseness, fears about harm to yourself or loved ones, or forbidden religious or sexual thoughts.
Compulsions are obsession-driven ritualistic behaviors. For example, you may check that you turned off your oven a specific number of times before leaving the house or you may spend hours washing your hands, even resorting to using abrasive cleaners or brushes to remove germs from your skin.
Compulsions prevent or reduce your obsessive fears. At their most extreme, your compulsive rituals take over your day and prevent you from participating in your regular activities and responsibilities.
Additionally, compulsions only provide temporary relief from your obsessions. OCD is cyclic, meaning your pattern of obsessive thoughts leading to compulsive behaviors repeats until you get professional psychiatric help.
What causes OCD?
Psychiatrists and medical researchers are still studying the causes of OCD. However, they believe that several factors contribute to OCD, including your brain chemistry, genetics, and environment.
Other risk factors for OCD include:
- A family history of OCD
- Stressful or traumatic life experiences
- Having other mental health disorders
If left untreated, OCD can contribute to other health complications, including skin conditions, performance or attendance problems at work or school, and suicidal thoughts.
How is OCD treated?
Dr. Goel provides comprehensive assessments to diagnose OCD. He offers customized treatment plans that combine medication, medical advice to enhance your general health, and kindness.
Dr. Goel is committed to prescribing the best possible medicines to control your symptoms with minimal side effects. Dr. Goel also collaborates with trusted psychologists who provide psychotherapy to help you explore and resolve your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a safe environment.
If you’re suffering from obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that interfere with your quality of life, call Psychiatric Excellence or schedule a consultation online today.
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