Like all other mental health conditions, OCD does not have a known cure at this time. That said, there are treatments and forms of therapy that help alleviate the symptoms and bring you to a place of mindfulness and acceptance.
OCD (which stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) is a mental health condition characterized by unwanted, intrusive thoughts that make you feel compelled to carry out ritualistic behaviors. Trying to ignore these obsessions will only increase your overall distress and anxiety.
The 5 Symptom Subtypes of OCD
Generally speaking, most symptoms will fall into one of these five subtypes, but they are not mutually exclusive and your symptoms may change over time.
- Contamination Obsessions with Washing and Cleaning Compulsions: Those suffering from this type of OCD will typically focus on feelings of discomfort brought on by feelings of germs and contamination and will wash and clean excessively.
- Harm Obsessions with Checking Compulsions: Those experiencing this symptom subtype tend to have intense thoughts regarding possible harm that could be brought on to them or others and will use intense checking rituals to try to relieve their distress.
- Obsessions Without Visible Compulsions: This subtype is characterized by unwanted obsessions regarding sexual, religious, or aggressive themes. Triggers related to these obsessions are usually avoided.
- Symmetry Obsessions with Ordering, Arranging, and Counting Compulsions: This subtype is characterized by feeling a strong need to rearrange objects constantly. This also involves thinking or saying sentences or words over and over again until you feel it has been set absolutely perfectly.
- Hoarding: Those with this symptom subtype collect items of little or no value until their own living space is filled with so much clutter it becomes difficult to live in. This is frequently accompanied by obsessive fears of losing items that you feel may be needed someday in the future.
Obsessions are persistent, intrusive thoughts, feelings, or images that give you stress or anxiety. If you have OCD, you may try to get rid of these obsessions by performing a compulsive ritual. Obsessions usually intrude in your everyday life, often getting in the way of your day-to-day activities.
Examples of obsessions include the following:
- Fear of contamination
- Needing things orderly and symmetrical
- Aggressive or horrific thoughts about harming yourself or others
- Unwanted thoughts, including sexual or religious subjects
Signs and symptoms of obsession also include:
- Fear of contamination when touching objects someone else may have touched
- Intense stress when objects are not perceived as orderly
- Intrusive images or thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else
- Thoughts about shouting obscenities or acting otherwise inappropriately
- Avoidance of situations that may trigger your obsessions
- Distress about unpleasant sexual images repeating in your mind
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that people with OCD feel they must perform. Typically, these compulsions are done to reduce anxiety from obsessive thoughts, but these compulsions usually provide temporary relief only.
Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include the following:
- Hand-washing until your skin becomes raw
- Checking doors to make sure they’re locked
- Checking the stove to make sure it’s turned off
- Counting in repetitive patterns
- Silently repeating a prayer, word, or phrase
Ketamine for OCD
Ketamine, first approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, has been shown in recent years to treat mood disorders like OCD with rapid results. Ketamine is thought to play a role in the treatment of mood disorders through its influence on glutamate, a neurotransmitter that mediates the response to stress and traumatic memories.
To learn more about ketamine and its use as OCD treatment, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.