What is Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is distinguished from the other anxiety disorders in that the person is usually overwhelmed with repugnant or fearful thoughts, impulses or images (the obsession). The person attempts to suppress or neutralize these events by performing some sort of senseless behavior or mental act (the compulsion). The person reports that these compulsions somehow gives the relief from the obsessions. However, the relief tends to be short-lived, and the person is driven to repeat the rituals once again. Any attempt to stop the compulsion by the person usually results in a rapid increase in the obsession, driving the person to repeat the ritual.
The obsessions and compulsions take many forms, but most cases tend to center around issues such as:
Fear of contamination – leading to excessive washing
Fear of hurting others – leading to checking to see if someone was hurt
Fear of repugnant thoughts – with attempts to control thinking
Need to keep things excessively neat – wasting many hours
Need to hoard unnecessary items – such as newspapers or clothes
What treatments are recommended for OCD?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy alone or combined with neurofeedback is highly effective in treating OCD. The treatment involves a systematic, graded exposure of the obsessions in a virtual or real environment, along with addressing the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that reinforce obsessions / compulsions. Virtual Reality provides a concrete way to exposure patients to feared scenarios from the safety of our office, alongside their licensed psychologist or therapy.
What are the next steps?
Patients must first complete an initial consultation with Dr. Robert Reiner (Adults) or Dr. Heather Davidson (Children, Teens). After the initial consultation, you will be set up with one of our expert staff members based on your goals, availability and treatment type. Treatment may require you to complete an MMPI-2 personality test, qEEG brain scan or other psychological testing to fully understand your history and diagnosis. Same and next day appointments are typically available Monday through Thursday.