OCD, also known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, is a mental illness that can severely impact a person’s life if left untreated. For adolescents with OCD, it could prevent them from going to school and making friends. While there is no cure for OCD, it is possible to treat this disease and significantly reduce symptoms so individuals can continue to thrive. Treatments include a combination of therapy and medications.
What is OCD?
OCD is a mental health disorder that causes a person to experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive, repetitive behaviors. While someone with OCD might try to limit their thoughts or stop the behaviors, it is usually impossible for them to do so without the help of a professional.
Living with OCD can cause severe anxiety, and depression, and lead to other mental health disorders if left untreated.
It’s important to note that not all impulses are considered to fall under the category of OCD. For example, someone might not remember if they locked the door when leaving the house and then choose to check to see if they did. Someone with OCD would feel compelled to check the door again, and might even need to check it multiple times in a row. They often cannot control the urge to check and re-check things.
OCD can be very stressful for the individual experiencing it. Adolescents, might not understand what is going on and this could lead to changes in behavior.
Symptoms of OCD
There are many symptoms associated with OCD which primarily involves obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors. Some people experience both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, while others only experience one.
Obsessive thoughts are often related to:
- Wanting things in a specific order
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of germs and contaminated areas (including the self and environment)
- Concern about numbers and feeling unlucky
- Wanting everything to be perfect
- Unwanted thoughts related to religion and sex
- Dangerous thoughts about harming themselves or others
Compulsive behavior can include:
- Cleaning things excessively
- Repeating words and phrases
- Arranging things in a very specific order
- Repeatedly checking on things (including that a door is locked or that a light was turned off)
- Having tics such as eyes blinking or vocal tics such as clearing the throat
Treatment for OCD involves a variety of therapies to treat the mental health disorder and needs to be provided by a licensed mental health professional. As mentioned, OCD is a chronic condition and cannot be cured, but it can be treated so that the symptoms can be drastically reduced. Treatment aims at improving the quality of life for individuals.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
OCD therapies, especially for adolescents, provide them with specific ways to manage symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a primary treatment option and is known for being highly effective. Sessions take place in a therapist’s office and the exercises can be practiced between sessions.
In addition to CBT, prescription medications can be extremely effective at reducing OCD symptoms. These can include selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs), including clomipramine, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, anti-anxiety medications, and many others.
Get OCD Treatment Today
At Zenith Behavioral Health, we provide evidence-based treatment solutions and intensive interventions for youth and adults with chronic psychiatric and behavioral disorders, including OCD, anxiety disorders, and other mental health disorders. We accept multiple forms of payment, including AHCCCS Medicaid and other types of Medicaid insurance, to pay for our Arizona mental health treatment programs. Our primary goal is to offer a safe and secure environment while advancing each individual’s path toward wellness and recovery.