OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) sufferers normally have both obsessions and compulsions, although some people may experience obsessions alone. The seriousness of symptomotology tends to vary, but it often gets worse over time, especially throughout occasions of stress.
Here are some examples of OCD variations:
• Excessive Washing (e.g., washing hands many dozens of times a day; taking very prolonged showers; cleaning the house or other environment to an extreme degree): What drives this behavior is fear of contamination by germs, dirt or other feared substance;
•Checking: Checking rituals may be highly elaborate and time-consuming, and they frequently are driven by doubt (e.g.," Have I forgotten to check that the stove is off? Should I check it for the 90th time just to make sure? If the house burns down it will be all my fault!");
•Hoarding: Sufferers fear losing possessions or something they may need, sometimes filling entire houses from floor to ceiling with what others would consider junk;
•Counting:: These symptoms may be purely obsessive and sometimes include a need for order as well. The counting is typically superstitious, a mental ritual designed to atone for sin (real or imagined) or ward off catastrophe.
We will consider some treatment options for this condition in an upcoming post. There are a number of licensed therapists and counselors in the greater Denver area who specialize in the treatment of OCD.