Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a painful and sometimes debilitating condition that can impact a person's whole life. Often times, people mistake this condition for being a perfectionist and liking things neat and tidy, but this is not the case.

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that includes intrusive thoughts or images (obsessions) which causes a great deal of anxiety and gives the person an urge to do something to relieve the stress and anxiety so that they can feel better (compulsion).

Obsessions – An obsession is a persistent and unwanted thought, image, or urge that enters the mind and triggers distress.

Common obsessions in OCD include:

  • Fear of contamination – not engaging in normal activities like shaking hands for fear of contamination
  • Fear of dirt
  • Fear of harm occurring – being plagued with fear about forgetting to turn off a stove or lock a door before leaving home
  • Excessive concern with exactness – objects not facing a particular direction nor set in an orderly or symmetrical fashion
  • Beyond normal focus on the need for orderliness
  • Anxiety related to unwelcome thoughts including anger, or sexual or religious content
  • Anxiety related to unwelcome thoughts of hurting others or oneself
  • Anxiety related to unwelcome thoughts about cursing in public or other inappropriate behavior

Compulsions – A compulsion is recurrent behavior or mental act(s) carried out to provide relief brought on by the distress of obsessions.

Common compulsions include:

  • Cleaning
  • Repeatedly checking stoves, windows, or doors
  • Washing
  • Repeating acts
  • Repeating words, prayers, or phrases
  • Mental rituals
  • Ordering or arranging things

Evidence of OCD can typically begin to be seen in teenage or early adult years. Generally, symptoms have a gradual progression in their severity and can be more extreme in stressful times. The disorder is thought of as a lifelong condition and will either be mild, moderate, or severe.

Treatment for OCD often includes therapies such as Exposure and Response Prevention and Medication Management. Healing is possible. It is important to work with a therapist who specializes in OCD.

Stacy Vollands Counseling & Recovery


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Edina, MN 55439



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