Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) | Overview & Treatment

Because of the severity of compulsions, OCD can cause severe anxiety, problems with relationships, school, or work, and reduce quality of life.

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental health condition that affects your daily life. People with OCD may experience a pattern of unwanted, overpowering urges and do repetitive actions to get rid of these urges.

If left untreated, OCD can cause severe anxiety, problems with relationships, school, or work, and worsening quality of life.

If you or a loved one live with OCD, you can get help from a mental health treatment program. Effective mental health treatment plans for OCD likely include behavioral therapy and medication.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center, our licensed mental health professionals provide evidence-based care for the treatment of OCD, anxiety disorders, and related disorders. At our inpatient treatment center, you can receive a variety of treatment options that support your specific needs.

Contact us to get started with OCD treatment options such as cognitive behavioral therapy, medication management, family therapy, support groups, and more.

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD is defined by ongoing, unwanted thoughts or feelings (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors done to alleviate obsessive thoughts. The obsessions and compulsions may need to be related for a proper OCD diagnosis.

OCD patients may spend at least 1 hour per day on their compulsive behaviors. They may also have trouble controlling their behaviors or the obsessive thoughts that lead to them.

While unwanted thoughts and compulsions can be present in healthy people, the time-consuming and intense nature of OCD symptoms can separate OCD from non-OCD behavior.


You can talk to your primary care provider (PCP) if you are experiencing OCD symptoms. Your doctor may give you an examination to rule out any physical health problems before referring you to a psychiatrist.

Your psychiatrist may ask you about your medical history, family history, and symptoms. If you receive an OCD diagnosis, you may be referred to further treatment options.

Signs & Symptoms Of OCD

Signs and symptoms of OCD may include:

  • fear of germs or infection
  • fearing of misplacing items
  • intrusive thoughts about harming yourself or others
  • excessive cleaning
  • hoarding items
  • excessive checking doors or lights
  • uncontrollable counting
  • constantly asking for approval
  • severe anxiety when not doing a compulsion
  • tics, such as excessive sniffing or eye blinking

OCD symptoms may vary between patients.

Risk Factors For OCD

If you have a parent or sibling with OCD, your risk of developing OCD is likely significantly higher.

Other risk factors for OCD include trauma, abnormal brain chemistry, and contracting streptococcal infections as a child. More research is needed to determine how OCD develops in people of all ages.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects about 1 to 3 percent of U.S. adults and 1 percent of U.S. children every year. Women are 3 times more likely to have OCD than men.

According to a 2021 study, 69 percent of OCD patients also had another mental health disorder. Out of this population, depression and anxiety are the most common comorbid conditions.

Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Treating obsessive-compulsive disorder involves approved prescription drugs and talk therapy. Patients with severe OCD may be eligible for surgical options.


Antidepressants can be prescribed to reduce your anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline), are the most common antidepressants prescribed for OCD treatment.

If SSRIs are not effective on their own, your treatment provider may consider tricyclic antidepressants such as clomipramine or antipsychotic medication such as Seroquel.


Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, can help you understand and work on your mental health.

A category of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you practice and learn alternatives to compulsive behaviors, and you may learn new ways to deal with stress as a result.

One effective form of CBT is exposure and response prevention (ERP). ERP can help patients control their compulsive behaviors after intentionally triggering their obsessive thoughts. Multiple ERP sessions can decrease your anxiety and reduce your need for time-consuming behaviors.

Other Treatment Options

Other treatment options for obsessive-compulsive disorder may include:

  • transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • deep brain stimulation (a brain implant)
  • dual diagnosis treatment

These treatment options may suit patients with severe OCD or with other specific needs.

How To Find OCD Treatment

You can find OCD treatment resources at the local and national level. You can use resources for OCD treatment at little to no cost.

Reach Out To Local Treatment Providers

Local treatment providers such as Bedrock Recovery Center can work with you to set up a personalized OCD treatment plan, including how long treatment may last, your treatment approaches, and setting (inpatient or outpatient).

You can contact local mental health treatment providers by using search engines or treatment center locators such as SAMHSA.

PCP Or Family Physician

Your PCP can refer you to mental health treatment options that work for you. They will likely consider your insurance plan and specific needs when making a referral.

To find out if our individualized treatment plans will work for you, your family member, or your loved one, please contact us today.

  1. American Psychiatric Association https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/what-is-obsessive-compulsive-disorder
  2. Frontiers in Psychiatry https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8631971/
  3. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/obsessivecompulsivedisorder.html

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: January 8, 2024

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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