Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a two-pronged form of anxiety disorder. In OCD, patients experience constant unpleasant thoughts – the obsessions – which in turn trigger repetitive behaviors – the compulsions. Worse, a person with OCD is often completely aware their thoughts and actions are irrational and yet are helpless to do anything about them.
Sovereign Health is a leading provider of mental health treatment for adolescents. Our residential treatment center in Rancho San Diego offers patients aged between 12 and 17 a safe, comfortable and secure place to work on the challenges OCD presents and move into a healthier, happier life.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Moments of anxiety, fear and worry are normal. They’re unpleasant, but part of life – and they also help us protect ourselves. OCD amplifies these moments to the extreme. Patients with OCD are often bombarded with unpleasant mental thoughts and imagery, which compel them to engage in rituals and other repetitive, obsessive behaviors to allay the stress the thoughts cause.
In an adult, OCD can interfere with work and family relationships. People with OCD may find themselves desperately needing to wash their hands every hour due to fears of germs on their keyboard, or unable to close a car door without a few minutes of checking and rechecking everything on the car. But in a teenager, OCD can also bring social shame and alienation – an adolescent’s peers might not understand their friend’s strange behaviors aren’t something that can be easily controlled.
There are also multiple health complications from OCD. Constant hand washing can cause dermatitis and other skin issues. Untreated OCD can damage relationships with family and friends and prevent the patient from attending school or even social activities. Finally, in extreme cases OCD can cause a patient to become depressed and even suicidal.