What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common chronic disorder where the individual experiences uncontrollable recurring thoughts and behaviors that they feel the urge to repeat, over and over again. This disorder affects people of all ages in all walks of life; and for someone to be diagnosed, their cycle of obsessions and compulsions have to become so extreme that it gets in the way of proper functioning. An example of this is excessively double-checking things, such as locked doors, switches, emails, and so on.
Symptoms of OCD
- Recurring thoughts, urges, images
- Attempts to suppress obsessions
- Heightened fears of contamination (dirt or germs)
- Fears of health problems or injury
- Unwanted aggressive thoughts or behaviors
- Controlling obsessions resulting in compulsions
- Symmetry and ordering
- Repetitive behaviors, such as continually cleaning hands, rituals, checking, and rechecking tasks.
- Mental acts or rituals (praying, counting, reading words).
- Checking to make sure things are locked, turned off, closed, and so on.
- Correcting thoughts, such as repeating a word, name, or sentence in your head or verbally.
- Seeking reassurance.
Types of OCD:
- Contamination / Mental Contamination
- Symmetry and hoarding
- Ruminations / Intrusive thoughts
What Causes OCD?
Although there is considerable research on why a person may develop the disorder, science has not been able to determine a definitive cause of OCD. There are, however, factors that lead to the potential, including neurobiological, genetic, environmental factors, as well as learned behaviors or even a specific event.
Children with an anxious or fearful temperament tend to have an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which may open them to a greater risk for developing OCD.
Further, research indicates that OCD may be genetic as it tends to run in the family. And lastly, environmental stressors, such as physical assault (at a young age), may be responsible for one to develop it.
How can we help?
In addition to traditional forms of treatment for OCD, Elumind provides complementary treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Non-invasive, outpatient protocols that work to reduce overall symptoms include the following:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps individuals cope and change disruptive and problematic thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
- Neurofeedback therapy helps to change the brain’s neural pathways and decrease emotional reactivity. Depending upon the protocol, neurofeedback works to regulate emotions and create healthier brain waves so that symptoms are much easier to manage or reduced.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a clinically proven, safe form of non-invasive neuromodulation therapy that changes the electrical activity in the targeted area of the brain. Research has shown that TMS treatments can suppress or blunt the overactive orbitofrontal cortex, and major symptoms are relieved almost entirely.