Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a type of mental health concern that is characterized by a variety of distressing thoughts and urges. The symptoms of OCD can be the cause of considerable emotional pain, and they can undermine a person’s ability to live a productive and satisfying life.
As noted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), obsessive-compulsive disorder is a treatable condition. Certain medications and therapies have proved to be effective at helping people manage the symptoms of OCD so that they can achieve a healthier future.
Tower Behavioral Health offers inpatient OCD treatment for adults of all genders age 18 and older. Our inpatient OCD treatment program is a safe and structured place where adults can make significant progress toward improved mental health.
Signs & Symptoms of OCD
The signs and symptoms of OCD fall into two categories: compulsions and obsessions. In most cases, compulsions involve behavioral signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, while obsessions relate to feelings or emotions.
Signs and symptoms of OCD that can be classified as compulsions include:
- Having a habit of repeating certain words, numbers, or phrases over and over again
- Needing to touch certain items in a certain order every time you enter or exit a room
- Being unable to leave home until you’ve repeatedly checked that the doors are locked, electronic devices have been unplugged, or other tasks have been completed
- Cleaning your room or your house, vacuuming, or doing laundry much more often than is necessary
- Washing your hands or showering far more than is necessary, even to the point that you are spending multiple hours a day doing so
- Constantly seeking reassurance from others
- Insisting that certain objects be placed in a symmetrical order or otherwise arranged in an extremely precise way
OCD signs and symptoms that are categorized as obsessions include:
- Being afraid that something horrific will happen to you or to someone else if you ignore or fail to follow through on your behavioral compulsions
- Experiencing an overwhelming fear that you may hurt yourself or that you may act violently toward someone you care about
- Struggling with repeated, unwanted, and disturbing mental images related to religion, sex, or harming someone else
- Having an excessive fear of becoming dirty, infected, or otherwise contaminated
- Needing to silently count or repeat words, phrases, or numbers over and over in your mind
OCD Causes & Risk Factors
Possible causes of and risk factors for OCD include:
- Age (most people first experience OCD symptoms prior to age 35)
- Having a biological parent or sibling who has obsessive-compulsive disorder
- A history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or other traumatic experiences during childhood
- Temperamental characteristics such as negative emotionality or behavioral inhibition
- Being exposed to certain infectious agents as a child
Gender can influence when symptoms occur and which types of OCD symptoms a person experiences, but the rate of OCD is generally even among males and females.
The following OCD statistics were reported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
- An estimated 2.3% of people will develop OCD over the course of their lifetime.
- The past-year rate of OCD is 1.8% among women and girls and 0.5% among men and boys.
- Among adults, the past-year rate of OCD is highest (1.5%) in the 18-29 age group.
- More than 50% of people who develop OCD meet the criteria for serious impairment as established on the Sheehan Disability Scale.
Also, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) reports that about half of all people who have symptoms of OCD experience suicidal thoughts and that as many as 25% of people who have OCD may attempt suicide.
Potential Effects of OCD
Depending on the nature and severity of a person’s OCD symptoms, the effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder can vary considerably. In general, though, the effects of OCD can include significant difficulties in school, at work, and within the context of interpersonal relationships.
Potential negative effects of OCD may include:
- Medical problems due to avoiding doctors’ offices (because of misguided fear of contamination)
- Skin problems related to excessive washing
- Difficulty forming or maintaining friendships
- Dysfunction within the family
- Onset or worsening of other mental health concerns
- Inability to complete assignments or projects on time
- Academic setbacks, job loss, and unemployment
- Inability to establish an independent lifestyle
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Anyone who experiences any symptoms or effects of OCD should seek appropriate professional care. When you get effective OCD treatment, you can learn to manage the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and reduce your risk for incurring continued negative effects of OCD.
Therapies Used in OCD Treatment
Prior to receiving care at our OCD treatment center in Reading, Pennsylvania, you will work closely with the members of your team to identify your needs and goals. This information will guide the development of your personalized OCD treatment plan.
If prescription medication can ease the OCD symptoms you’ve been experiencing, your plan may include medication management services.
Other elements of inpatient OCD treatment at Tower Behavioral Health include individual, family, and group sessions, which may involve psychoeducation and psychotherapy. You may also take part in experiential therapies such as music, dance/movement, and art therapies.
Your OCD treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and motivational interviewing.
When you’re ready to transition out of our OCD treatment center, you’ll receive a detailed discharge plan to guide your continued progress.
Reasons to Choose Our OCD Treatment Center
When you’re seeking treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, it’s important to find the OCD treatment center that offers the type and level of care you need within an environment that feels safe and comfortable to you.
When you choose our OCD treatment center in Reading, Pennsylvania, you will receive superior, personalized services, provided by a team of experienced professionals who are committed to maintaining a welcoming and respectful atmosphere.
During your time at our OCD treatment center, you may work in close collaboration with:
- Case managers and social workers
- Occupational therapists
- Psychiatrists and psychologists
- Registered nurses and certified psychiatric nurse practitioners
- Behavioral health associates
- Other experts when appropriate to meet your unique needs
Your time in our inpatient OCD treatment program may be relatively brief, but we’re committed to preparing you for long-term success.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Tower Behavioral Health.