Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Types, Symptoms and Boise, ID Treatment Options

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic psychological condition that affects many people in Boise, Idaho.

Treatment is available for OCD, but there are a lot of people who are undiagnosed. For them, they live in a world where they constantly have to cope with their symptoms, and every situation they face may seem hopeless.

It is so important to understand this mental health diagnosis; especially for those who may not understand their symptoms or why they feel the way they do. Here, we would like to take a moment to discuss obsessive-compulsive disorder to help people learn what it is, the types and where to find treatment in Boise, Idaho.

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What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

The National Institute of Mental Health defines obsessive-compulsive disorder as, “a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.”

For many people, the symptoms of OCD can be debilitating. They take over their lives and cause problems for them within their families, at school or at work.

People who struggle with OCD may find that they experience symptoms of compulsions, obsessions or both at the same time. Obsessions are reoccurring urges, thoughts or mental pictures that cause the person to experience anxiety. Some of the common symptoms of obsessions include:

  • Having unwanted or forbidden thoughts about religion, harm or sex.
  • Feeling afraid of germs and getting contaminated.
  • Having aggressive thoughts toward one’s self.
  • Having aggressive thoughts toward other people.
  • Feeling as though everything needs to be kept in some type of order.

The term, compulsions, refers to the repetitive behaviors that someone with OCD does as the result of an urge. They happen in response to the obsessive thoughts they have. Some examples of compulsions include:

  • Having to count as they move through their day.
  • Making sure that items are arranged in a particular order in their homes.
  • Feeling the need to clean excessively.
  • Feeling the need to check on things, such as making sure the oven is off.
  • Feeling the need to wash one’s hands repeatedly.

There can be a fine line between an ordinary ritual or habit and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. In fact, a lot of people are accused of being OCD by friends and family, but they usually fall short of the actual diagnostic criteria.

A person who has OCD will generally:

  • Be unable to control their thoughts or behaviors. This is the case even when they are understood to be excessive.
  • Not receive any pleasure when they are engaging in compulsive behaviors.
  • Experience relief from their anxiety once the compulsive behaviors have been done.
  • Allot at least one hour a day on these thoughts or behaviors.
  • Find that their thoughts or behaviors cause significant problems in their everyday lives.

We do not completely understand what causes some people to develop symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some experts believe that they are learned behaviors. They only become repetitive and habitual when the individual experiences relief from their anxiety as a result.

There are some genetic and hereditary factors at play as well. A person is much more likely to suffer from OCD if a close relative also has the condition. Hormonal changes, certain personality traits and stressful life events may lead to the development of the condition. Obsessive-compulsive disorder has also been linked to chemical, functional and structural abnormalities in the brain.


Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

There are six types of obsessive-compulsive disorders, and they are all quite different.

Checking refers to the need to constantly be on the lookout for some type of danger. This could mean fire, leaks or any type of damage. People who suffer from the checking type of OCD may always monitor alarms, lights and appliances very closely.

This can also apply to people. People with OCD often believe that they and those they love are suffering from certain illnesses. The individual might check in with people multiple times per day to make sure they are OK.

Finally, checking may include the need to have memories verified or the individual might worry about making mistakes in letters or emails. They are often fearful about having offended people.

Hoarding is another type of OCD, and this refers to the inability to throw anything away that they might see as useful. In many cases, the items that are being hoarded have no actual value.

Hoarders often collect certain items in large numbers. For example, they may feel the need to hang on to:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Plastic bags
  • Photographs
  • Cardboard boxes

This type of OCD may cause people to constantly obtain free items or compulsively buy them. They may also be on the lookout for anything that could be considered unique or hard to find.

Rumination involves an unfocused and extended train of thought that obsessively focuses on broad topics. For example, a person may ruminate about the death or the end of the world. People with this type of OCD never come to agreeable conclusions that stop those thought patterns, and they often appear detached from reality.

Contamination refers to a person’s need to constantly wash their hands or keep surfaces clean. These and other items may never seem clean enough in their opinions. They believe that everything they touch is contaminated in some way, and they live in fear that they will get sick without regular, ritualistic cleaning.

There is also mental contamination, which is the feeling of being “dirty” after a person has been mistreated. There is always another person who is responsible for these feelings, and the sufferer will typically try to scrub them away in the shower.

Someone with the symmetry/orderliness type of OCD often obsesses about lining objects up in a certain way. In their minds, this activity helps them avoid discomfort. They may feel compelled to stack dishes just so, or they may feel the need to make sure their books are perfectly lined up on a shelf.

Intrusive thoughts are those that frequently involve hurting a loved one sexually or violently. These thoughts are not a choice, and they are extremely distressful to the person who suffers from this type of OCD.

What are the Best Treatments for OCD?

There are several ways to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, but they mainly revolve around medications and types of therapy.

Medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have shown to be very helpful in relieving the symptoms of OCD. They work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Many doctors combine medications that have been known to be effective in order to get the best results.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be very effective in treating OCD. The same is true for exposure and response prevention therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. But of course, every person is different. Every effort should be made to find the method of therapy that works for the individual.

Promise at Ashwood Recovery: Treatment for OCD in Boise, Idaho

At Ashwood Recovery, we know how hard it can be to manage one’s life while dealing with symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Promise is the name of our mental health program, and it is designed to meet the needs of those who suffer from OCD.

Promise is a day treatment or partial hospitalization program. Clients participate on an outpatient basis and they receive several types of treatment during the course of the program. They are able to connect with nursing staff and their psychiatrist daily if needed. They receive medication management and prescriptions for medications that are not habit-forming. Our clients also participate in group therapy, family therapy and other forms of treatment as well.

We understand that everyone has different needs when it comes to their mental health. We are very careful to tailor the program to help people on an individual basis.

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Get Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Help in Boise, ID Today

At Ashwood Recovery, we are dedicated to meeting the needs of our clients. The pain of living with the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder is extremely disruptive, and we are here to help.

Do you think you might have OCD? Would you like to talk with someone about getting treatment in Boise? Please contact us today.

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