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The Clinic on Dupont Toronto

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by the combination of intrusive and persistent thoughts, urges or images (obsessions) and the need to perform repetitive behaviours in response to these obsessions (compulsions). While many people have certain routines that they perform out of habit or superstition (i.e. “knocking on wood”), obsessive-compulsive disorder is different in that it involves a pattern of thoughts and behaviours that are extremely distressing and disruptive to the individual, and that often interfere with many aspects of life, including relationships, work, school, and health.

Common types of obsessions include fears about germs or contamination, worries about safety, distress about disorder, unwanted or forbidden thoughts about religion, violence or sex, and fear of harming oneself or others. Common compulsions include rituals around cleaning or washing, ordering, checking, and collecting or hoarding. At The Clinic on Dupont, we offer integrated treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, to both address the underlying causes of the obsessive thoughts and disrupt the cycle of compulsive behaviours through exposure and response prevention techniques.

Are you looking for help with your obsessive-compulsive disorder? Our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) professionals are here for you. Call us at (416) 515-2649 to speak with one of our psychologists.

obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment
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OCD TREATMENT IN TORONTO

What is obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious anxiety disorder marked by recurring, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviours (compulsions).

How prevalent is obsessive-compulsive disorder?

In Canada, approximately 2% of the population will experience OCD. Symptoms of OCD typically appear before the age of 40, although OCD often develops during childhood or adolescence.

How does OCD affect people's lives?

OCD can be severely debilitating and disabling. Those who suffer from OCD often spend a significant part of their day carrying out rituals, or compulsions, to manage the distress caused by intrusive thoughts.

Family life and relationships also suffer because of the significant amount of time invested in acting out rituals. Individuals with OCD often depend on their loved ones for reassurance and to carry out the compulsive actions. This can become a burden for family members. The avoidance of places or objects that trigger fear can also disrupt family life or cause relationship problems.

At The Clinic on Dupont, we’ll help you take control of your fears, obsessions, and compulsions so you can lead a happy, productive life.

What are the symptoms of OCD?

There are two categories of OCD symptoms: obsessions and compulsions.

Obsession symptoms consist of distressing or anxiety-provoking unwanted thoughts, images, or urges that are persistent and repetitive.

Compulsion symptoms are repetitive, ritual-like mental acts or behaviours that are performed to reduce the anxiety caused by obsessions.

What causes obsessive-compulsive disorder?

OCD is a neurobiological disorder for which some individuals are genetically predisposed. Everyone with a genetic predisposition doesn’t necessarily develop OCD. Scientists believe OCD develops in an individual with a genetic predisposition when it is triggered by stress, trauma, or certain bacterial or viral infections.

How is OCD diagnosed?

At your initial visit, one of our OCD specialists will do an assessment. Your therapist will ask about your symptoms and how long they have persisted. Any family history of OCD or other mental illness will be helpful to know as well. Your OCD specialist will also ask about any stressful or traumatic experiences or health problems that preceded the development of your symptoms.

What type of therapy is used for OCD treatment?

At The Clinic on Dupont, our OCD specialists use evidence-based psychotherapies to treat OCD, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a common CBT method used for OCD treatment. This involves gradual exposure to the feared situation or object as well as learning healthy coping skills.

Medications, such as antidepressants are also sometimes recommended in conjunction with psychotherapy. If you or your therapist believe you would benefit from medication, we’ll be happy to provide you a referral.

How long does obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment take?

OCD therapy typically takes three months to a year to manage the symptoms of OCD fully. The length of OCD therapy may depend on the severity of your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of OCD in children?

The symptoms of OCD in children and adolescents are similar to those in adults.

Common obsessions in kids include intrusive words or sounds; fear of germs, dirt, or contamination; fear of harm or illness; the need for order and symmetry; religious thoughts; and lucky or unlucky numbers, among other obsessions.

Common compulsions include checking rituals, such as making sure the door is locked; grooming rituals; arranging objects; household cleaning rituals, and hoarding or other repetitive behaviours.

What methods are used for obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment for children?

Our results-oriented OCD specialists use proven methods, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to treat OCD in children. The CBT approaches your child’s therapist uses

will help your child learn to manage fears and control intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

Children with severe OCD may require medication in conjunction with psychotherapy to achieve best results. If you or your child’s therapist believe your child might benefit from medication, we’ll be happy to provide a referral.

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