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What is OCD?

By Debra Kissen

What is OCD?

What is OCD? OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

There is much freedom and peace to be obtained once you move from perceiving yourself as ineffective, crazy, flawed, etc., to understanding that your OCD is driving the “irrational” behaviors which you nonetheless feel compelled to perform at all costs. The key symptoms of OCD are the experiencing of frequent, intrusive, disturbing thoughts, as well as experiencing the need to engage in frequent compulsive behaviors ( which can be external, such as hand washing, or internal, such as mentally reviewing events ), which create distress and impair functioning.

As devastating as OCD can be to life functioning, it is also highly treatable. I have seen many patients begin treatment, with moderate to severe symptoms, who can barely manage their professional, personal, academic or family responsibilities. They feel as though they are barely treading water, and only moments away from drowning, based on the inordinate amount of energy they are exerting to engage in their compulsions and keep their anxiety at bay. This very same population can see tremendous symptom reduction, in a short amount of time, by engaging in intensive Exposure and Response Prevention Treatment (ERP) as well consulting with a psychiatrist to determine if they might benefit from an SSRI.

Dr. Debra Kissen is CEO of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Center. Dr. Kissen specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)...

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