If you or a loved one are living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), each day can be frustrating and overwhelming – unbearable for some. According to a recent study, almost 15 percent of patients with OCD have attempted suicide. Dr. Daniel Bober in Hollywood, FL, has overseen and assisted in OCD treatment for many patients who have been able to move forward in their lives. As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Bober can help you find methods to manage your obsessions and compulsions, alleviating the stress and anxiety caused by your disorder, and improving your quality of life.
A Closer Look at Defining OCD
OCD is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions, compulsions, or both. About two to three percent of Americans suffer from OCD.
Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses that are intrusive and cause notable distress. Obsessions commonly revolve around:
- Symmetry or exactness
- Forbidden sexual thoughts
To cope with obsessions, an individual may try to suppress obsessive thoughts or turn to compulsive behavior.
Compulsions are the repetitive behaviors or mental acts that are performed to help an individual cope with obsessions. Typically, compulsions must be completed in accordance with strict rules in a particular manner. Common compulsions include:
- Hand washing
- Ordering and arranging items
A patient with OCD may believe the behavior is a reasonable solution to address their obsessive thoughts or urges, as well as relieve anxiety. However, the actions are not typically connected to the thoughts or impulses they are intended to prevent. For patients with severe OCD, compulsions can occupy much of their day and significantly interfere with their ability to lead full, productive lives.
In order for individuals to be formally diagnosed, these obsessions or compulsions must:
- Consume more than one hour each day, cause clinically significant distress, or substantially impair your ability to engage in normal daily activities
- Not be caused by the use of a substance or as a result of another condition
- Not be better explained by another mental disorder
If you suspect that a loved one is struggling with OCD, it is highly recommended that you help them seek professional treatment as soon as possible.
Recommended Course of Treatment
Pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are the two most common treatments for OCD. In a recent study, patients who used medications in combination with CBT saw a significant decrease in their OCD symptoms as well as anxiety and depressive feelings.
Typically, OCD is treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressants commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. To properly manage your condition, Dr. Bober will help you find the specific medication and dosage which is best for you. This is typically accomplished by monitoring your progress closely and make adjustments as needed. With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Bober has helped many patients effectively manage OCD with pharmacotherapy.
Dr. Bober may recommend medication and can help you coordinate treatment with a reputable therapist to achieve the best effects.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT has proven effective for many patients suffering from OCD. Specifically, the exposure and response prevention method of CBT is used to help patients reduce their symptoms over time. During therapy, patients are exposed to their fears and coached through resisting their compulsions. The goal is to help reduce anxiety related to not completing the compulsive behavior. Dr. Bober can help you coordinate a combination approach to treatment with a reputable therapist.
Begin Managing Your Condition
Failure to seek professional treatment can cause your symptoms to become worse and your quality of life to greatly decline. Dr. Bober can help you establish a plan including medication, therapy, or both that can help you regain control over your life. To schedule your consultation, call our office at (954) 994-1115.
- OCD patient suicide rates - Cambridge University Press
- Definition of OCD - BeyondOCD.org
- Percentage of Americans who suffer from OCD - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Defining obsessions - American Psychiatric Association
- Effectiveness of medication and CBT - National Institutes of Health