Although all of us have the occasional intrusive bad thought or desire, but for some people Obsessive-Compulsive symptoms can spiral into a very disruptive disorder. The primary signs of OCD include intrusive images, thoughts, or uncontrollable impulses to perform real-life or internal (imagined) rituals. The difference between normal quirks and a diagnosis of OCD is primarily how disruptive the symptoms are and how much time they are taking up per day. Sometimes, OCD-related thoughts or behaviors can start to interfere with school or work, and can be extremely distressing for the person experiencing them.
How Therapy Can Help?
There is a special sub-type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy known as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP was designed specifically to deal with many of the symptoms suffered by people with OCD. During ERP therapy, the OCD sufferer will be gradually exposed to their primary fear or obsession, and the therapist will then work with the patient to find ways other than rituals to reduce the accompanying anxiety and distress. Regular Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy may also be of benefit to help OCD sufferers learn how to cope with the overwhelming anxiety or fear that often accompanies the disorder.