Obsessive thinking disorder, also known as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), is a common, ongoing thinking or behavior pattern that a person cannot control or feels an overwhelming urge to repeat over and over. These thoughts or behaviors can be debilitating and cause significant stress and anxiety. At Mind and Body, our therapists are here to help patients cope using psychotherapy, tools, and strategies shown to ease the challenges of OCD.
While everyone has negative thoughts or repetitive behaviors from time to time, you may have obsessive thinking disorder if these thoughts or compulsions disrupt your daily life. A diagnosis involves a behavior or obsession that consumes more than one hour a day, causes severe distress, and impairs social or work activities. In the United States, OCD affects more than 2% of the population.
Obsessive thinking and compulsions may look fairly different,
so let’s break it down a little to help explain what each means.
Obsessive thinking can look like recurring thoughts or impulses that cause distress. While you may be able to recognize that your thoughts are exaggerated or unrealistic, you cannot ease your mind through reasoning. It is not uncommon for someone to try to distract themselves from these distressing thought patterns through activity or even substance abuse.
Compulsions include repetitive behaviors and activity in response to an obsession. These behaviors can be directly in response to an obsessive thought or completely unrelated. For example, repetitive hand washing out of fear of germs or hair pulling in response to stress.
Seeking Support May Help
While the cause of obsessive thinking disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder isn’t fully understood, scientists connect the behavior or thought patterns to biology, genetics, and learning. Researchers also recognize a correlation to family history, trauma or stressful events, and other mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, as well as addiction. While there is no ‘cure’ for obsessive thinking disorder, seeking support may help prevent the thoughts or compulsions from worsening and further impacting your life.
Mind and Body offers therapy in Reno for Obsessive Thinking Disorder/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and our therapists work with patients to provide treatment to help ease the distress, improve their quality of life, and learn successful coping skills to minimize the impact on daily routine or work functioning. We may consider cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as well as medication management to offer the most comprehensive approach to helping you cope.