Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a life-altering mental health condition. Although common throughout the United States, OCD takes different forms, from mild to severe. It is a long-lasting disorder that is often chronic in those left untreated.
If you have uncontrollable thoughts that are reoccurring or impulses and behaviors you feel the need to repeat constantly, you may have OCD. These obsessions and compulsions affect day-to-day life. If left untreated, OCD can affect overall functioning in everyday life.
However, there are treatment options for those experiencing this mental health disorder. One of the most effective treatment options is outpatient programs. Outpatient treatment programs — like at Alter Wellness Care — offer the flexibility and the therapy needed to treat your OCD symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of OCD
Some of the signs and symptoms to recognize are not always obvious with OCD. It can take a while for things to become obsessions and compulsions. However, if you feel that these obsessions and compulsions are out of your control, it may be time to seek treatment.
If you have OCD, you may notice that your obsessions take control of your everyday life.
Obsession symptoms include:
- Repetitive thoughts as if you need to think something to avoid disaster
- Irrational fears, such as a fear of germs or contamination
- Urges, like doing something just for the sake of repeating it
- Mental imagery, such as seeing things in your head that are taboo, like sex or religion
If you struggle with any of these symptoms, taking the next steps to seek help is critical.
Those with OCD also experience compulsions or repetitive behaviors and actions that they perform in response to an obsessive thought.
Symptoms of compulsions include:
- Impulses: Feeling the need to do a behavior like washing your hands repeatedly
- Proper order: The need to have everything in the proper place and in the perfect position
- Checking: Repeated checking on things like if the door is locked or you left the window open
- Counting: Counting compulsively to make sure everything is in perfect order
Some compulsions could be dangerous if left untreated. An outpatient program may be able to help you cope and manage your symptoms of OCD.
Though many of the symptoms of obsessions and compulsions seem as though they are harmless, if you have OCD, you may feel like you aren’t in control of your thoughts or actions. Spending at least one hour a day on rituals or behaviors that you need to do indicate that you may have this mental health disorder.
Outpatient Treatment for OCD
There are many different outpatient treatment programs for those experiencing OCD. Alter Wellness Care offers many of these programs. The first step to getting treatment for OCD is talking with a psychiatrist. Talking with a person who specializes in psychiatry can help you gain the diagnosis you need.
After you receive the proper diagnosis, the next step would be to find a treatment program that works best for you. Outpatient clinical programs are focused on improving functional abilities through an interdisciplinary approach to treatment.
These programs are highly structured because maintaining the ability to perform functionally outside the program is key to living healthier and happier lives. Once you are diagnosed and assessed for treatment, you may find you have options of programs to choose from.
Some of the options may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), along with other forms of psychotherapy. However, studies have shown that CBT has been the best psychological treatment for those who experience this condition.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD
In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, CBT has been shown effective for treating OCD. The study states, “The psychological treatment of choice for OCD, in both adults and children and backed by numerous clinical trials, is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), particularly exposure with response prevention.”
CBT is the kind of treatment that identifies thoughts and beliefs that lead to irrational actions. In this kind of therapy, you will be challenged to change faulty thinking by understanding how your beliefs impact your actions.
This kind of program usually helps those experiencing OCD with coping and managing their symptoms in a healthy manner. Outpatient programs that provide intense care can help bring to the forefront the beliefs and thoughts that are leading to faulty behaviors, such as compulsions.
If you are experiencing OCD, there is help and hope out there for you. Outpatient programs help you with this mental health disorder because they provide the kind of constant therapy you will need to combat your toughest challenges when facing this disorder. Knowing there is help there for you through programs provided by places like Alter Wellness Care can make all the difference in getting you the best treatment.
Taking the first step in getting help with your OCD may be the hardest, but here at Alter Wellness Care, we make it easy to assess and treat you. Our programs are highly structured to focus on an individual’s needs. We provide a plan of care in our outpatient programs that will help you every step of the way. Our licensed medical professionals are here to help with your every need so you can get back to living a healthier and happier lifestyle. Our goal is to give you the best care so that you learn the skills you need to cope with and treat your mental health disorder. Call our clinic today at (866) 311-3510 to learn more.