OCD Therapy in New York, NY
Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCD), as defined by the DSM-5, is characterized by the presence of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurring thoughts that are intrusive and unpleasant, while a compulsion is the behavior or mental act that follows an obsession. Usually those with OCD perform a behavior (compulsion) in order to soothe the anxious, negative thoughts (obsessions). The behaviors may also involve rigid rules, and an urge to perform a specific behavior or else a consequence/feared belief will occur. Having OCD can be incredibly debilitating and impair one’s ability to function in daily life, which is where our team of psychotherapists can help.
OCD has commonly been misconstrued and simplified in the media as describing a person who keeps a tidy environment and fixates on small attention to details. You may have heard the frequently used expression “I’m just being OCD” as a commentary when someone feels they are conveying some perfectionist behaviors. However, the conversational usage of OCD as a personality trait is incorrect and does not accurately convey the clinical symptoms of OCD which are much more complex. Understanding the symptoms of OCD is important for developing awareness of the disorder, and receiving a diagnoses and proper treatment.
How Do I know if I have OCD?
The most apparent feature for diagnosing OCD is that there is a repetitive behavioral response in the presence of anxiety. The type of behaviors exhibited can vary, which is why OCD can look very different for each individual. For some, it may involve needing to check the rearview mirror in the car a specific number of times. For others, it may involve a form of self-harming behaviors like pulling out eyelashes and other body hair. While behaviors can vary, the common underlying thread that is present for individuals with OCD is the feeling of shame and isolation around the disorder.
If you are concerned you may have OCD, or if you're compulsive behaviors are preventing you from performing many daily tasks in your work and home life, the therapists at Steady NYC are here to help.
Causes & Types of OCD
Environmental stressors, such as past and recent traumas, are a large component in the development of OCD, although there does also seem to be a genetic predisposition. Usually those who struggle with OCD may also have other pathologies in addition to the disorder. There is not one singular cause of OCD, but a multitude of factors that may contribute to its onset. The development OCD is ultimately a result of an individual feeling unsafe in their past or current environment and this may be an individual’s best ability to cope in their given Different Kinds of OCD
An individual is experiencing persistent worrying thoughts and/or images that may feel intrusive and performs a repetitive behavior and/or mental act as a result. The behavior may be directly related to the worrying thoughts or it may be unrelated. For example, an individual may repeatedly wash their hands with a fear that if they don’t perform this hand-washing ritual they will become significantly ill – in this case, the obsession and compulsion are related. However, an individual may also feel the need to flicker a light switch ten times or else a loved one may die – this would be an example of an obsession and compulsion that are unrelated.
Our therapists are highly skilled to provide expert clinical care in a compassionate, safe and nonjudgmental environment. We can help you identify and acknowledge the stressors or factors that contribute to your OCD and, together, we will share strategies you can use to help mitigate the effects of anxiety and release the hold OCD has over your life.
Symptoms of anxiety include but are not limited to:
OCD – Related Disorders:
The related disorders that fall under the umbrella of OCD include hoarding disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, and body-focused repetitive behaviors.
- Hoarding Disorder - This disorder involves accumulating possessions to the extent in which the individual’s living area becomes significantly congested with clutter and impacts the individual’s ability to function. The individual has difficulty discarding possessions regardless of their actual value.
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) - Individuals with this disorder may become fixated on perceived flaws in their appearance that are not apparent or noticeable to others. This can be a fixation with i.e., muscle size, weight, and/or other aspects of the body related to physical appearance.
- Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) - In this specific subset of OCD disorders, the compulsions may involve performing a ritualistic self-harming act in order to soothe negative thoughts or serve as a distraction from the thoughts. These behaviors include trichotillomania (hair pulling) in which individuals repeatedly pull-out hair resulting in significant hair loss, and excoriation (skin picking).
Support for OCD
Different types of psychotherapy can offer tools for coping with OCD symptoms, as well as target and heal the cycle of maladaptive thinking that triggers harmful behaviors. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one form of psychotherapy known to be effective and helpful in reducing OCD symptoms by specifically targeting the maladaptive thinking patterns that trigger certain behaviors. Mindfulness can also be a therapy and tool that aides OCD treatment by supporting the ability to emotionally self-regulate in the presence of triggering events. Other therapies, such as psychodynamic therapy, can also be helpful in treating OCD by developing awareness of the way the mind processes past and current events and healing the core root of self-perpetuating cycle, which can be an underlying trauma.
If you’re searching for OCD treatment in New York City for yourself or for a loved one, Steady NYC can help. Working together, we will develop a greater insight, address some of the root cases, and work to address behaviors that are problematic or interruptive in your life. Contact us today.