Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Treatment Phoenix
Integro Health Systems psychiatrists in Phoenix, AZ, specialize in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. Our private inpatient or outpatient clinic offers a comprehensive psychiatric/medical assessment and treatment plan. Treatment may include medications, behavioral therapies or a combination of treatments.
What is OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that presents with obsessions and/or compulsions that affect everyday life by distressing/impairing an individual, often by consuming excessive amounts of time. Obsessions are characterized by intrusive and often irrational thoughts or beliefs that are recurrent. Compulsions occur in response to an obsession/preoccupation in order to minimize or relieve anxiety caused by it. Compulsions often include actions that an individual feels driven to complete in accordance to a set of specific rules, such as repetitive behaviors. OCD may significantly impact an individual’s daily functioning.
The average onset age for OCD in the United States is 19.5 years of age, with 25% of cases appearing by 14 years of age. OCD has a 12-month prevalence rate of 1.2% in the United States and 1.1%-1.8% worldwide.
What are the symptoms of OCD?
The DSM-5 Criteria for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are as follows:
Obsessions are defined by:
Compulsions are defined by:
What is the cause of OCD?
The specific cause of OCD may not be attributed to just one factor. OCD affects a range of individuals among different cultures, genders, and age groups and may manifest differently in terms of symptoms and severity across these individuals. Risk factors include temperamental, environmental, genetic, and physiological factors.
What happens with untreated OCD?
If OCD remains untreated, it usually follows a chronic course, with fluctuation in symptoms. The remission rate in adults without treatment is low. The course of OCD is further complicated by the comorbidity with other disorders such as anxiety, depressive and bipolar disorders.
The prevalence of comorbid major depressive disorder increases the risk of suicidal ideation, occurring in about half of individuals with OCD and suicide attempts, occurring in in to one-quarter of individuals with OCD.
OCD is associated with a significantly reduced quality of life and functionality along with social and occupational impairment across various domains. Impairment may be caused by time spent participating in obsessive-compulsive behaviors, or by the avoidance of triggering situations.
How is OCD diagnosed?
OCD is diagnosed through a thorough biopsychosocial psychiatric evaluation and medical assessment used to rule out other psychological and medical conditions that may present with similar symptomatology.
The treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder may consist of psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both.
FDA-approved medications commonly used in the treatment of OCD include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIS) such as Sertraline/Zoloft, Fluoxetine/Prozac, Fluvoxamine/Luvox, and Paroxetine/Paxil and Antidepressants such as Venlafaxine/Effexor and Duloxetine (brand name Cymbalta). There are several other off-label medications not mentioned that may also be used in the treatment of OCD.
Psychotherapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention therapy, and Systematic Desensitization have shown to be effective in the treatment of OCD.
How to Cope
Maintaining a balanced lifestyle can help an individual manage OCD compulsions and preoccupations.
Relaxation techniques – Participating in mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises can reduce an individual’s overall stress level and may help curb maladaptive obsessions or urges.
Exercise routine – 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise may help manage OCD symptoms by reducing anxiety and diverting an individual’s attention away from obsessions and compulsions.
Good sleep hygiene – Healthy sleep patterns promote a stronger ability to maintain emotional equilibrium, making it easier to cope with OCD symptoms.
Avoid drugs and alcohol – Drugs and alcohol increase symptoms of anxiety as they wear off, and therefore are maladaptive in coping with OCD.
For help with OCD, call Integro at (602) 535-8200.