Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by patterns of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.
In popular culture, OCD is often understood as a moderate fixation with cleanliness. However, OCD is a serious disorder. While some types of OCD may center around cleanliness, there are many different types of OCD.
What Are the Symptoms of OCD?
OCD symptoms are categorized into two types: obsessions and compulsions. Although each category is understood separately, obsessions and compulsions are often intricately connected.
Types of Compulsive Obsessions
Obsessions are overwhelming and distressing fixations on a specific subject, thought, or belief. There are many categories of obsessions that people with OCD may have. Typically, a person’s obsessions are centered on a personally distressing topic, such as harming others or becoming sick.
Many different types of obsessions exist. Some common obsession types include:
- Cleanliness or contamination obsessions
- Sexual obsessions
- Violence or harm-based obsessions (oneself or others)
- Identity (sexual orientation or gender identity) obsessions
- Religious or morality-based obsessions
- Completion obsessions
Obsessions may change over time, both in type and in specification. For example, a person with OCD may have a fixation on hurting others during one period of their life, and it may change to a fixation on being sinful later. Other times, the obsession may shift. For example, a person with a morality obsession may initially be fixated on committing crimes, then shift to fixating on having sinned.
These categories of obsessions are not explicitly stated in diagnostic manuals, and not all obsessions fit into these categories. Importantly, to qualify as OCD, an obsession must be unwanted or anxiety-inducing.
Compulsions are behaviors, typically performed repetitively, that are performed to relieve anxiety from an obsession. As such, a compulsion is typically related to a compulsion, as they are done to soothe the obsession. Examples of common compulsions include:
- Repeatedly cleaning one’s own hands or other surfaces
- Checking objects of obsession over and over (for example, checking if a door is locked)
- Praying or asking others for assurance of morality
- Doing actions in sets (for example, locking the door six times)
Not all compulsions are logical. Many obsessions are examples of ‘magical thinking,’ meaning people with these compulsions may connect seemingly unrelated compulsions to the ability to prevent their obsession. For example, a person with a cleanliness type of OCD may believe that if they do not clean their window every day, their mother will become injured.
Prevalence of OCD
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1.2% of adults in the U.S. had OCD in the previous year. Across one’s entire lifetime, 2.3% of U.S. adults will have OCD. OCD has been extensively studied by experts, and our best current knowledge suggests that it is likely both genetic and environmental. People with OCD may have differences in brain structure and function. In addition, OCD is associated with childhood trauma.
Alter Wellness Care’s OCD Programs Laguna Beach
Although OCD can be difficult, it is treatable. In fact, through years of study and practice, a variety of effective OCD treatments have been developed. At Alter Wellness Care, located in Laguna Beach, California, we believe that everyone deserves empathetic, scientifically-backed care. At our center, people with OCD or other psychiatric disorders can receive the care they need in a safe, welcoming environment.
We understand that all of our clients have different needs and different experiences. To ensure you have the best possible care experience, we offer three different types of programs: two intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and one partial hospitalization program (PHP).
Our Intensive Outpatient Programs
Our IOPs are designed to offer more structured care. If you or your loved one is seeking a more guided experience, these are for you. To fit your needs, we offer two IOPs with different commitment levels: IOP5, our first program, and IOP3, our second.
- IOP5 is our longer IOP, lasting for 40 to 60 days in total. While enrolled, our clients have access to multiple therapy sessions every weekday. Every day, clients return to a local sober living home, providing a safe, comfortable home base close to our treatment center.
- IOP3 is our shorter IOP, lasting for 30 to 40 days. Our clients enrolled in IOP3 can attend either two morning therapy sessions or two afternoon sessions. Like all of our programs, clients return to a safe and comfortable local sober living house seven days a week during treatment.
Our Partial Hospitalization Program
Alter Wellness Care offers one PHP, which is designed for those seeking a more flexible treatment experience. This program lasts 30 to 40 days. During treatment, our clients can attend therapy groups offered several times a day, three to five days a week. When not in group therapy, clients stay at a local sober living house, which provides the safety and comfort needed while recovering.
Our Treatment Modalities Southern California
All of our programs offer a variety of holistic, evidence-based treatment options. Some of our treatment types include:
- Psycho-educational groups: In our treatment programs, clients can learn effective tools to understand their symptoms and behaviors with their peers.
- Skill development groups: Our staff works directly with our therapy groups to identify what our clients need to help them succeed and achieve learning goals.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) groups: CBT is a critical, evidence-based treatment for OCD and other psychiatric disorders. In our CBT groups, patients learn how to identify harmful thought patterns and directly combat them, leading to healthier thinking and behavior.
- Interpersonal process groups: In our interpersonal process groups, clients process and learn effective strategies to cope with childhood traumas.
- Acceptance therapy: In acceptance therapy, patients learn to identify what is most important to them and create effective toolkits to achieve their goals.
No one deserves to struggle alone. At Alter Wellness Care, you can receive the care you need in a supportive environment. Recovery is on the horizon!
You don’t have to cope with OCD alone. To learn how to manage your symptoms and access the care you deserve, contact Alter Wellness at (866) 515-1580.