Obsessive Compulsive Disorder...
Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety sprectrum disorder. We know that if OCD is anxiety based, it is fear based. The question is, "is our fear real or imagined?" Learning to identify our fears as real or imagined and then using exposure with response prevention as a strategy is an empirically based treatment that has been successful in treating OCD. Individuals with this disorder have obsessions that make them anxious, and may engage in compulsions (repetitive behaviors or mental acts) in an attempt to reduce their anxiety. Some compulsions may include repeated hand-washing, checking, tapping, or mental routines (such as counting backwards from 100).
Everyone has unwanted thoughts from time to time, just like everyone has anxiety from time to time, the question is how do we manage our thoughts and our anxiety. The compulsions used to alleviate anxiety don't work, it makes our fears grow worse. The more we give in to OCD the stronger it gets. The key is to not give in to OCD by way of our compulsions. We start with our smaller fears and move on to our greater fears. It is recommended to work with a therapist.
The Key Mental Health Institute LLC
Jane Janer, Psy.D.