Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Repeatedly reconfirming that an electrical appliance is off, door is locked, or item is symmetrical or orderly to reduce a sense of  anxiety or dread. Overwhelming feelings of fear of eternal punishment or guilt compelling you to repeatedly engage in a religious behavior, such as prayer, confession, or studying your religion’s sacred text, to find relief. Obsessing over a perceived error you made and seeking repeat reassurance. Repeatedly cleaning or washing due to intrusive thoughts regarding contamination or germs. Intrusive, distressing thoughts of causing harm to yourself or the people you love. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves uncontrollable, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that compel you to seek temporary relief through completion of a specific behavior or compulsion. OCD can interfere with every aspect of a person’s life, including work, relationships, and more fully creating the life you want.

Subtypes of OCD include:

  • Fears of contamination
  • Compulsive checking for completion of specific tasks (door remaining locked, oven remaining off)
  • Ordering and arranging objects in specific ways
  • Unwanted violent or sexual thoughts that the individual experiencing the thoughts finds distressing and disturbing. People who experience Harm OCD have intrusive fears that are considered ego dystonic, meaning the thoughts go against the suffer’s desires and values. People who suffer from Harm OCD are not at any greater risk for actually harming others.
  • Severe fear, rumination, or constant need for reassurance regarding romantic relationships and whether their partner truly loves them and is happy in the relationship
  • Acute fear and preoccupation regarding one’s religious or moral beliefs
  • Paralyzing doubt, such as you accidentally did something that deeply goes against your values, such as unknowingly injuring or killing someone or stealing something from a store.

Hoarding disorder, skin-picking disorder, and hair-pulling disorder are also conditions considered similar to OCD.

At EMDR Center of Denver, we offer effective, evidence-based treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) by reducing the panic, dread, and unwanted behavior through the desensitization and reprocessing of EMDR therapy. An effective treatment such as this can be more time-efficient and comfortable than pure exposure and response prevention of more traditional OCD treatment methods. Additionally, OCD sometimes appears to be in response to developmental trauma that occurred at an early age when non-concrete, or “magical”  ways of thinking were age-appropriate and normal. The bilateral stimulation, or simulation of both brain spheres through eye movements, tapping, or other forms of tactile stimulation, can be more effective at addressing forms of such common developmental trauma. The targeted approach of EMDR may provide more effective treatment for OCD in reducing the intensity and frequency of both obsessions and compulsions than behavior or talk therapy alone. EMDR can break the link to a conditioned or a traumatic experience that may be worsening OCD.

EMDR Center of Denver can work to quickly and comprehensively reduce the panic, dread, and compulsions of OCD. Through the desensitization and reprocessing of EMDR, your brain’s neural network circuits can more quickly be rewired. At the EMDR Center of Denver, we believe that everyone deserves to live a life free from the debilitating effects of OCD, and we are here to help. If you are struggling with OCD, reach out to schedule your first session with us today to work towards the relief you deserve.

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Not sure if you are experiencing symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

This questionnaire can be used as a starting point to recognize the signs and symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but is not meant to replace consultation and evaluation with a trained mental health professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through a clinical evaluation. Regardless of the questionnaire results, if you have concerns regarding symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that you may be experiencing, please discuss these concerns with a mental health professional. We would be happy to assist with this process.