Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Compulsive behaviors or mental rituals often fall under the clinical diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD. Some common compulsive behaviors include excessive washing, cleaning, tapping, ordering, shopping, eating, checking, and counting. There are many other similar behaviors that people do that also fall into this arena.  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterized by having both obsessions and compulsions that interfere with your functioning or cause a significant amount of distress. Obsessions are unwanted thoughts that don’t make sense but continue to recur no matter how hard you try not to have them. Compulsions are actions (physical or mental) that are performed in response to an obsession in an attempt to alleviate discomfort caused by the unwanted thought. Initially, a compulsion may do the trick to make you feel more at ease, but quickly it loses its effectiveness. Discomfort caused by the obsession becomes reinforced when a compulsive behavior/ritual is performed in order to avoid having to tolerate the feelings caused by the unwanted thought. Cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) of OCD centers on a type of therapy called Exposure and Response Prevention.  Sometimes this is referred to as ERP. ERP works to reduce the symptoms of OCD and helps improve the functioning of people who are trapped by compulsive behaviors. Dr. Segal is a psychologist experienced in the technique of ERP for the treatment of OCD. OCD treatment takes place in her Westchester office in White Plains, NY.

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