If obsessive behaviors and intrusive thoughts are interfering with your daily life, you may have a potentially debilitating condition called obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Board-certified adult and child psychiatrist Estelita Marquez-Floyd, MD, knows how quickly OCD can prevent you from living your life the way you want. With locations in Walnut Creek and Napa, California, Dr. Marquez-Floyd can help you manage compulsive thoughts and behaviors to improve your overall quality of life. Call Estelita Marquez-Floyd, M.D., or schedule an appointment online to learn more.
OCD is an anxiety disorder that leads to recurrent, unwanted thoughts and compulsions, or obsessions. Those with OCD often feel an overwhelming sensation to engage in repetitive behaviors, such as washing your hands until they’re dry and cracked or locking your front door several times before leaving the house.
Without treatment, OCD can affect your ability to work, study, or form lasting relationships. Over time, untreated OCD leads to ritualistic behaviors that you can’t break without feeling extreme anxiety or fear.
The hallmark symptoms of OCD are obsessions and compulsions.
Many people with OCD experience obsessive concerns about dirt and bacteria, fear of harm, or have constant thoughts of sexual or religious topics. You may need order and symmetry in your life to feel safe and calm.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that you feel compelled to complete to reduce your anxiety. Compulsive behaviors vary from person to person, but some of the most common compulsions include obsessive cleaning, counting in patterns, and repeatedly checking the stove.
Experts don’t know exactly what causes OCD, but you’re more likely to have it if you have close relatives with obsessive or compulsive behaviors. Most experts also agree that your brain chemistry and genetics also influence your ability to develop OCD.
Your risk of developing OCD increases if you’ve experienced stressful or traumatic life events, or if you have another mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.
The primary treatment for OCD is psychotherapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT aims to identify negative thought patterns and behaviors to change the way you respond to them.
Over time, CBT can help you respond more positively to situations that may trigger obsessive and compulsive behaviors.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP), a type of CBT, gradually exposes you to your obsession or fear to help reduce unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.
Along with regular therapy, Dr. Marquez-Floyd may recommend certain medications to reduce anxiety associated with OCD.
To schedule an appointment at Estelita Marquez-Floyd, M.D., call or book online now.