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Obsessive-compulsive disorder can make you feel like you’re no longer in control of your mind.
obsessive compulsive disorder OCD

Facts About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

People may worry or keep thinking about a problem or stressful topic they need to sort out. And many people have thoughts they wish they didn’t from time to time. Meanwhile, most of us have checked a door more than once to make sure it’s locked before leaving the house. But when those problems and behaviors keep happening over and over again, despite efforts to stop them, it can be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. 

With 2.3 percent of adults in the United States meeting the diagnostic criteria for OCD, the condition is fairly common. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be the result of genetics, serotonin abnormalities, severe stress or a combination of all of them. OCD symptoms usually develop during adolescence or early adulthood, though it’s possible for it to occur at any age. Many people suffering from OCD are ashamed of their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior, and attempt to hide them from the people they love. 

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If you or a loved one are ready to overcome drug or alcohol abuse, our addiction specialists are here to guide you through every step. Many of our dedicated staff members are in long-term recovery themselves and understand firsthand the challenges of the recovery journey. This personal experience, combined with our professional expertise, allows us to offer compassionate, effective support tailored to your unique needs.

Signs And Symptoms Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can involve thoughts that persist, even when they’re unwanted. For example, people with OCD may have a powerful need for order or for their environment to be arranged a certain way. Another common symptom of OCD is a powerful fear of infection or germs, which can lead to aggressive hand-washing and other compulsive behaviors. 

Other people with OCD have persistent, unwanted thoughts about hurting other people or themselves. Or they may be troubled by obsessive thoughts about taboo topics like as incest or blasphemy.

Compulsions are obsessions that are translated into action, and are just as hard to control. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder may find it necessary to relieve a strong sense of tension by repeating actions. Several common compulsions include repetitive counting of items or placing items in a specific order; repeated checking, such as locking the door or turning off the stove; cleaning or washing obsessively.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is distressing and exhausting, so it’s not surprising that people with this condition often turn to substances to manage their symptoms. While alcohol and drugs can provide temporary relief, they can lead to withdrawal symptoms that can actually make OCD worse.

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Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

At Right Path Rehab, our behavioral health and clinical teams use a holistic, person-centered approach to treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as addiction rehab and other co-occurring mental health conditions. This usually includes a combination of therapy, medication and wellness. For instance, therapeutic approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are especially useful in alleviating the sense of tension that’s behind obsessions and compulsions. Also, antidepressants have demonstrated success in treating OCD as well. Along the way, you’ll find Right Path Rehab’s wellness curriculum a valuable source of mindfulness and relaxation, which can go far in counteracting the symptoms of OCD.


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Alexis Ecoff MA, LMFT, MCAP
As the Clinical Director for Right Path Recovery in San Diego, Alexis brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the field of counseling and therapy. She has a strong academic background with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Family and Child Sciences from Florida State University, and an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. Alexis is licensed in Marriage and Family Therapy in California, Florida, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
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