Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms

Obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms can include:

  • Constantly checking schedules, the arrangement of items and other repetitive behaviors such as counting
  • Following, or needing to follow strict routines based around washing and eating
  • Needing constant reassurances
  • Anxiety and intense worry about seemingly minor things
  • Tics – sudden, brief body movements like blinking or twitching

Red Flags of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Unwanted thoughts about self harm or harming others
  • Stress when things are out of order
  • Fears about dirt and disease
  • Avoiding situations such as using public restrooms or shaking others’ hands
  • A need to have everything orderly and symmetrical
  • Stress due to objects not being arranged a certain way
  • Excessive handwashing
  • Uncertainty and anxiety over small things such as locking doors or turning off appliances

Risk Factors for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

One of the more common disorders, the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) states most people are diagnosed with OCD by age 19 – early onset is more common in boys than girls. Specific causes of obsessive compulsive disorder aren’t known – according to Mayo Clinic, there are three main factors that may fuel the disorder:

  • Biology: Changes in body or brain chemistry might be responsible for OCD’s development. Other health conditions – additional mental disorders, substance abuse – may also play roles in developing OCD.
  • Genes: Many mental disorders have a genetic component to them, but a specific genetic link to OCD hasn’t yet been found. NIMH also warns having family members with OCD could be a potential risk factor for developing OCD.
  • Environmental: Some research has shown factors like infections could potentially trigger OCD, but Mayo Clinic warns more research is needed. Also, stressful life events can be potential risk factors for developing OCD.

Like many other mental disorders, the goal of obsessive compulsive disorder treatment is based more around management rather than a cure. Psychotherapy and medications can lessen OCD’s symptoms, allowing patients with the disorder to live a more normal life.

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Getting Help for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Left untreated, the behaviors and fears OCD generates can ruin lives and relationships – especially for teens. At Sovereign’s residential treatment center for adolescents aged 12 to 17, teens with OCD can get help for their disorder in a caring, secure environment free from distractions.

Sovereign Health prides itself on the holistic approach we take towards our patients. Recovery from a serious mental disorder like OCD requires treating both the mind and body, and we make use of both traditional and alternative treatment modalities to ensure our adolescent patients move past their problems to reach their full potential.

Our facility also offers 24/7 crisis management for our patients’ safety. Located in a rural canyon east of San Diego, Rancho San Diego is an ideal treatment environment.

Why Choose Sovereign Health?

Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is the ideal choice for a teen in need of mental health treatment. Why?

  • It’s staffed by compassionate professionals dedicated to your adolescent’s full recovery
  • It’s fully accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest health care accreditation organization
  • It’s a safe, secure facility with round-the-clock intervention available

A healthier life can start today. Call our 24/7 helpline to learn more about our obsessive compulsive disorder treatment.

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