Is OCD Wrecking Your Life? We Can Help

Feb 01, 2024
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Some people are unable to release upsetting thoughts or the worrisome repetitive behaviors. This is what living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is like. Learn more here.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a condition that can upend your life. As obsessive thoughts invade your mind, you develop compulsive behaviors to address them.

Your concern might be that you can’t remember if you turned the oven off before you left your home — even though you checked many times before departing. Your obsessive thoughts might lead you to turn your car around 100 miles into a road trip to return home and check the oven yet again.

At Clarity Psychiatric Care, we understand the struggles of people living with OCD and offer both a diagnosis of the disorder and effective treatment. Dr. Amy Carnall and Cristina Sertway, APN PMHNP-BC, provide expert diagnostic and treatment services for OCD and many other mental health conditions, and they deliver them with sensitivity and compassion.

A look into what it’s like to live with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

As anyone with OCD knows, you can get to a point where the intrusive and repetitive thoughts you’re having prompt you to find “solutions” in the form of rigid behaviors that you can’t refrain from doing. 

These thoughts often morph into intense fears as well that can focus on high-stakes things like the personal safety of loved ones or yourself, self-harm or violence to others, and illness and contamination. 

You may also find yourself focusing on “forbidden” topics like sex, religion, and horribly violent actions, as well as deciding that organization, classifying, or another practice that introduces order is pivotal to your comfort. 

The cycle becomes perpetual, disturbing, and exhausting since the obsessions take you down a path to compulsive behaviors, such as the following: 

  • Repetitive self-talk 
  • Counting 
  • Washing your hands 
  • Showering excessively 
  • Tapping objects 
  • Checking that the drapes are closed over and over again

OCD is a recipe for a distressing progression of thoughts and actions that can take over your life in a frightening way. The imbalance may have been slight when you started behaving compulsively, but as the disorder progresses, those actions become amped up and your life disrupted. 

I may have OCD. Can I get relief?

If you suspect you may have OCD or you notice that symptoms are careening out of control, it’s time to speak with a mental health clinician at Clarity Psychiatric Care.

It’s important to seek treatment because there are many other worrisome conditions associated with OCD, including:

  • Hoarding
  • Body dysmorphia
  • Skin picking
  • Trichotillomania (hair pulling)
  • Olfactory reference syndrome (ORS) — feeling as if you have a bad odor, even if you don’t

Before OCD wreaks havoc on your life, Dr. Carnall and Cristina Sertway can evaluate you thoroughly to arrive at a diagnosis and create a treatment plan designed for you and only you. They may advise one or multiple treatment approaches:

  • Medication
  • A psychotherapy referral
  • Lifestyle changes

Working with a psychotherapist can give you tools to cope with your OCD. At the same time, medication helps address chemical dysregulation in your brain. Lifestyle changes that are helpful for those living with OCD include:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Steering clear of smoking and alcohol.
  • Getting enough high-quality rest.

With treatment, you can start living a happier and more fulfilling life.

Contact Clarity Psychiatric Care at 856.428.1260 to schedule an appointment at our Split Rock Drive office, or book one online.