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OCD Therapist in Chicago, IL

OCD Therapist Chicago, IL

If you live in the Chicago, IL area and have trouble with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), there are options available to help you live a better life. Now you can find a therapist for OCD, in Chicago with the click of the mouse. You do not have to suffer alone, or believe that your condition is not treatable. There are ways to move forward and regain a more comfortable sense of self, so you can rebuild anything you may have lost during your illness. In order to seek treatment the right way, you need a Chicago therapist who understands what you are dealing with and how to find the best treatment plan for your specific needs and situation.

What is OCD?

OCD is a disorder involving obsessive and/or fearful thoughts and repetitive, or compulsive, behaviors. The thoughts generally come first, and they lead to the behaviors. It is a chronic mental illness, and can be a lifelong problem. For many people, OCD lasts for years, especially without proper treatment. The sooner someone seeks treatment, the better off they will usually be and the faster they can get their OCD under better control. There are no lab tests or imaging tests required, and many people who have the condition have generally assumed they have OCD before they seek a professional diagnosis and the help they need.

Get Therapy for OCD in Chicago

While OCD cannot be cured, it can be managed in several different ways. Talk therapy (usually of the cognitive behavioral variety), along with medications (in some cases) are the common ways to manage the condition. The symptoms of OCD can start gradually, and get worse throughout life if they are not properly managed. Your Chicago OCD therapist is here to help find solutions.

Getting control of the symptoms may take time, along with trial and error, but once control is found it is possible for you to feel better for the long term, as long as you continue to use the techniques you have learned to manage your symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of (OCD) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

OCD Therapy

At Anxiety Therapist Chicago, OCD traits are discussed below. Persons with obsessive compulsive disorder may use a lot of hand sanitizer to avoid germs, or they may have their closet organized by color or in some other fashion. People who need everything in its place all the time are often said to have OCD, but they may not have an actual, diagnosable disorder. Generally,

OCD is present if the symptoms of it are severe and interfere with daily life. Here are just some of the symptoms of OCD:

Washing your hands – if you must wash a certain number of times, or for a specific number of minutes, or you have other types of time-consuming hand washing rituals, that may be a symptom of OCD. Worrying excessively about germs can also be part of this category, as can cleaning your home or other spaces compulsively.

Checking & Double-Checking – it is normal for everyone to double-check things occasionally, like whether they turned the oven off or if their front door is locked.

When OCD is present, those kinds of behaviors become so compulsive that they can make you late for work or otherwise interfere with your daily life. That is the time to seek help. Counting is closely related to checking, and is only a problem if it interferes with daily life tasks or becomes stressful for the person seeking help.

Organization – Being organized can feel good, and can help you find things in your home and keep everything looking neat and tidy. If you enjoy organizing and like to keep things neat, that does not mean you have OCD. If you have to organize things to keep your anxiety levels down, that is a larger problem that needs the help of a professional. With treatment, you can learn how to control and move past those behaviors.

Being afraid – People with OCD often have very irrational fears, to the point that they avoid doing normal, everyday things because they are frightened that something bad might happen. They may fear for their own safety, or for the safety of others who are close to them.

When OCD is present, people find thoughts of violence to be intrusive, and they want to stop thinking them, but that only seems to make the thoughts worse. The same problem can be present with sexual thoughts, as opposed to thoughts that are violent.

Dwelling and Seeking – For those with OCD, dwelling on relationships, what others think of them, and if they are being laughed at or talked about can become significant issues in their life. See Social Anxiety Symptoms.

You may also seek out validation from your friends, family members, or others around you, to try to feel better about yourself and/or something you have done in your life. Hating the way you look can be a part of this, as well, even if others do not see or point out any flaws in your appearance.

OCD Treatments

There are a number of treatments for OCD, including cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy is a very popular option, because it does not involve taking medications – many of which can have unpleasant side effects. In cognitive behavioral therapy, you talk to a therapist about the issues you are facing and how those issues make you feel and/or affect your life. You also learn techniques to use when you have obsessive thoughts or when you feel the need to perform a compulsive behavior.

Through work with your therapist, you can find ways to lead a more normal life, and not allow your condition to control you any longer.

Natural remedies can also work for OCD, especially when used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy. Among the remedies that are commonly used to treat the condition are Inositol (a serotonin booster), caffeine, St. John’s Wort, and milk thistle. Whether these remedies work is still being debated, but they generally have far less potential for side effects than prescription medications. As with any supplements or natural remedies, though, it is a good idea to see your doctor and make sure it is safe for you to take them.

Anxiety and Depression are Often Related

Many people who have OCD also struggle with anxiety, depression, or both. With that in mind, treating these other conditions at the same time can make a difficult situation much better. For example, people with OCD often perform compulsive behaviors because of the fearful thoughts that run through their head.

They are anxious and nervous about something being wrong or going wrong, and they believe that a particular behavior will protect them from that problem. The behavior eases their nervousness, or makes them feel better, so they are not as anxious or depressed as they otherwise would be. When OCD is treated, it is often necessary to treat anxiety and depression at the same time, for a better resolution of symptoms.

If you want to find an OCD therapist in Chicago, look no further than Anxiety Therapist Chicago for counseling services.