Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by obsessions, which are recurrent and intrusive thoughts/urges, and/or compulsions, which are mental acts or repetitive behaviors that occur in response to an obsession or a rigid set of rules. Symptoms can be distressing and/or time-consuming. Symptoms can interfere with many facets of one’s life. The competent, caring psychologists at PC&A understand these disorders and can help through cognitive-behavior based and reality-based therapies. Accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial to improving overall functioning and quality of life.

There are several related disorders that occur when the obsession or compulsion is confined to one specific area or behavior. Although there are similarities with these disorders, there are also differences. PC&A psychologists have experience identifying and treating individuals with these disorders.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – This disorder is characterized by obsessions and/or compulsions. The individual may spend an inordinate amount of time with ritualistic behaviors or compulsive behaviors. The individual usually finds the obsessions distressing and can sometimes recognize that these thoughts/urges are excessive, illogical, or irrational. PC&A psychologists can reduce the obsessive thought, compulsive behavior, and the typical accompanying anxiety through cognitive behavioral therapy. PC&A staff is willing to work with your physician if pharmacological intervention, along with therapy, is indicated.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder – When the obsessions or intrusive thoughts are regarding a perceived flaw or defect in the person’s appearance – which is not obvious, or is slight, to other observers- then Body Dysmorphic Disorder is possibly the cause. This preoccupation causes distress for the individual and can interfere with self-esteem, social functioning, and even occupational functioning. The staff at PC&A can help to improve self-concept and self-confidence through reality-based and cognitive-behavior based therapies.

Hoarding Disorder – Due to being publicized, most people are somewhat familiar with this disorder. Hoarding is characterized by difficulty discarding possessions, regardless of the value. The hoarding can cause significant distress or significant impairment in one’s functioning.  Living environments can become unlivable and social functioning/family interactions can plummet. PC&A staff can help to improve insight, reduce compulsive behavior, and improve overall functioning.

There are other, less common disorders that are closely related to these. It takes clinical knowledge and experience to identify and treat these more obscure disorders. PC&A staff have the experience and competence needed to assist you with these significant challenges.