Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce high levels of anxiety, by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety, or by a combination of such thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions). Symptoms may include repetitive hand-washing; hoarding; preoccupation with sexual or aggressive impulses, or with religious beliefs; aversion to odd numbers; and nervous habits, such as constant checking to see if something is locked, checking a device or appliance to ensure it is turned off, opening a door and closing it a certain number of times before one enters or leaves a room. These symptoms can be very time-consuming and emotionally draining. OCD can cause serious impairment in daily functioning. OCD sufferers generally recognize their thoughts and subsequent actions as irrational, and they may become further distressed by this realization.
The phrase “obsessive-compulsive” has become part of the English lexicon, and is often used in an informal manner to describe someone who is meticulous, perfectionisitc absorbed in a cause, or otherwise fixated on something or someone. Although these signs may be present in OCD, a person who exhibits them does not necessarily have OCD, and may instead have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), an autism spectrum disorder, or no clinical condition at all.Proper treatment of adolescents with OCD can be complex. Finding the proper environment, therapy, and medication are key. Logan River Academy has a group of experienced therapists trained to work with adolescents with OCD. We take from different theoretic orientations and individualize those approaches to each of our students. Our most common therapeutic approach with adolescents with OCD is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). We implement techniques such as systemic desensitization and exposure response prevention to help our students with OCD. This type of therapy combined with a stable, consistent environment help our students improve and function. We also look at the role of the family and address these issues in weekly family therapy sessions as OCD tends to affect the entire family system.
We also have a psychiatrist as part of our clinical team who treats our students. Adolescents with OCD often need a psychopharmacological intervention to help alleviate the symptoms that OCD brings. Our psychiatrist works hand-in-hand with our primary therapists to provide the most effective treatment possible.