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Common OCD Behaviors

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a commonly misunderstood mental health condition. It is characterized by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions) that cause significant distress and interfere with daily life. While it’s common for individuals to have occasional obsessive thoughts or rituals, those with OCD are unable to control these behaviors and may spend hours each day obsessing over them. OCD behaviors can vary greatly from person to person, but the defining characteristic is the inability to stop the intrusive thoughts and behaviors.

Northeast Health Services offers OCD treatment services that can help you or a loved one manage symptoms and improve overall quality of life. Call 508.794.8711 today to learn more about our approach to OCD treatment in Massachusetts.

Common Misconceptions About OCD

One of the most common misconceptions about OCD is that it’s all about cleanliness and orderliness. While these can be symptoms for some, OCD behaviors are not limited to these traits. Others believe that OCD is simply about being overly particular or meticulous. However, OCD is not a personality quirk; it is a serious mental health disorder that can cause significant distress and impairment.

Another widely held belief is that people with OCD can simply stop their behaviors if they truly wanted to. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. People with OCD experience intense anxiety and distress, and their compulsions are not a matter of choice; they are an attempt to alleviate the distress caused by their obsessions.

Simply avoiding “trigger” situations or objects is not a viable solution for those with OCD. In fact, avoidance can often worsen symptoms and make it even harder to manage the disorder.

Behaviors Associated with OCD

What does OCD actually look like? The behaviors associated with this disorder can vary greatly, but here are some of the most common signs to look out for:

  • Excessive hand washing or cleaning
  • Repeatedly checking locks, appliances, or other objects
  • Counting or repeating words/phrases in a certain pattern
  • Constantly rearranging items or straightening things up
  • Hoarding or obsessing over specific items
  • Aggressive, intrusive thoughts about harming oneself or others
  • Need for constant reassurance or validation from others

Many of the symptoms of OCD can interfere with daily life and may cause significant distress for the individual. They may also lead to feelings of shame or embarrassment, causing those with OCD to hide their behaviors from others. The cycle of obsessions and compulsions can become exhausting and overwhelming, making it difficult to seek help.

How OCD Treatment Can Help

While there is no cure for OCD, it can be effectively managed through a combination of therapy and medication. Some of the approaches we use at Northeast Health Services include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy – Through therapy, individuals can learn to challenge and change their thoughts and behaviors related to OCD. This can help reduce the distress caused by obsessions and compulsions.
  • Exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy – This therapy involves gradually exposing clients to their triggers and teaching them how to resist engaging in compulsive behaviors. Over time, this can help reduce the intensity and frequency of obsessions.
  • Medication – Certain medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may be prescribed to help manage symptoms of OCD.

Every person’s OCD experience is unique, which is why our team at Northeast Health Services creates personalized treatment plans for each individual. We understand the challenges of living with this disorder and are dedicated to providing compassionate, evidence-based care.

Get in Touch with Northeast Health Services

If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, know that you are not alone. Call 508.794.8711 today to talk with a member of the Northeast Health Services team. If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic, mental health care experts! For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.