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Effective OCD Treatment, Dual Diagnosis & Therapies

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If you or your loved one deal with severe OCD, professional inpatient OCD treatment may be vital for long-term recovery success. Keep reading to learn more about this condition and its treatments.

By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: January 25, 2023

What is OCD? OCD Meaning

OCD meaning Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic, common mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life. OCD occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsession and compulsion. OCD is known for repetitive behaviors, such as hand washing, checking on things, or cleaning. And can significantly interfere with a person’s daily activities and social interactions, requiring OCD treatment. Professional intensive residential OCD treatment may become vital for recovery from severe cases.

OCD can affect men, women, and children. Some people start having symptoms early, often around puberty, but it usually starts during early adulthood; an early OCD treatment will help with controlling obsessions and compulsions in the future.

OCD Symptoms

Symptoms of OCD may not seem like a big deal. They might even feel normal to you. But OCD symptoms actually cause a lot of stress and get in the way of your daily life.

Symptoms of OCD can include:

  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Repeatedly checking that the door is locked or that the oven is off

OCD can make you feel very anxious. It’s like OCD has its own brain, telling you the same thoughts over and over again. OCD keeps making you think about things that make no sense, despite how much it stresses you out. OCD makes you do things that are repetitive and sometimes weird, just so that you won’t have to deal with those upsetting thoughts anymore. You might worry that if something happened because your OCD “brain” made a mistake, then things will never be right again. OCD also makes it hard for other people to understand what happens in your head and why you do the things you do.

These stressful symptoms or signs often require medical observation and OCD treatment to learn how to deal with the situations when symptoms appear.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has two main parts, namely, obsessions and compulsions. 

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OCD Fact Sheet

OCD Overview

Obsessions with excessive ideas trigger recurrent behaviors (compulsions). Unreasonable worries and obsessions (also known as compulsive behaviors) are hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
OCD frequently centers on ideas like a dread of germs or the requirement to organize objects in a certain way. Symptoms typically appear gradually and change over time. Both conversation therapy and medication are used as treatments.

OCD Symptoms

Behavioral: compulsive behavior, agitation, compulsive hoarding, hypervigilance, impulsivity, meaningless repetition of own words, repetitive movements, ritualistic behavior, social isolation, or persistent repetition of words or actions.

Mood: anxiety, apprehension, guilt, or panic attack.

Whole body: fatigue or sweating.

Also common: food aversion, nightmares, or rumination

OCD Treatments

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

OCD Statistics

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a term that is frequently used in casual conversation. For those who have obtained a clinical diagnosis, OCD is frequently perceived as an unusual trait rather than a severe mental health difficulty. It is frequently used to characterize picky behavior or is mildly neurotic in the public eye.

2.5 million

OCD affects 2.5 million adults or 1.2% of the U.S. population.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health


The average age of onset is 19, with 25% of cases occurring by age 14. One-third of affected adults first experienced symptoms in childhood.

Source: ADAA


Women are 3x more likely to be affected than men.

Source: ADAA


Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, images, urges worries, or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind. They can make you feel very anxious (although some people describe it as mental discomfort rather than anxiety).

OCD Treatment for obsessive behavior can be vital for long-term recovery success.
OCD Treatment for obsessive behavior can be vital for long-term recovery success.

Some common symptoms of obsessions include:

  • Aggressive thoughts about other people or one’s self
  • A need to have everything in a certain order
  • Fear of germs
Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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Compulsive Versus Impulsive (Impulsive Versus Compulsive)

Impulsive And Compulsive: Compulsions

Compulsions are repetitive activities that you do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. Examples of compulsions include repeatedly checking a door is locked, repeating a specific phrase in your head, or checking how your body feels. 

Some common symptoms of compulsions include:

  • Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing
  • Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way
  • Repeatedly checking on things, such as repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked or that the oven is off
  • Compulsive counting
Intensive OCD Treatment for uncontrolled compulsions can be vital for recovery outcomes.
Intensive OCD Treatment for uncontrolled compulsions can be vital for recovery outcomes.

Everyone has habits or thoughts that repeat sometimes. In this case, people with OCD have thoughts or actions that:

  • Take up at least an hour a day
  • Are beyond your control
  • Aren’t enjoyable
  • Interfere with work, your social life, or another part of life

What’s The Difference Between Impulsive And Compulsive? Compulsive Vs Impulsive

Difference Between Impulse And Compulse (Difference Between Compulsive And Impulsive)

Impulsive Vs Compulsive: the innate tendencies of impulsivity and compulsivity are vital for human survival. Acting impulsively is going with your gut. When one is obsessive, one gives in to an overwhelming impulse. These two behaviors, though they sound identical, have different intentions. Compulsive behavior is deliberate, whereas impulsive behavior is acting without thought.

Compulsion Vs Impulse: Impulsive or compulsive behavior can develop an addiction in certain people, which can result in severe mental health conditions that rule their lives. Understanding these behaviors, their causes, and the problems they are connected with will better inform us about the mental health issues facing our community and contribute to the eradication of the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

Impulse Vs Compulse: Impulsive Behavior

Compulse Vs Impulse: Impulsive behavior is behaving hastily without considering the possible repercussions of those acts. Impulsive behavior is typically motivated by the need for satisfying or enjoyable outcomes, such as the need to feel happy or respite from emotional suffering. However, over time, this behavior may have a number of detrimental effects, such as increased emotional discomfort, remorse, willful self-harm, and even criminal conduct.

Compulsion Vs Impulsion: Although there isn’t a clear reason for impulse control disorders, they are a relatively prevalent psychiatric illness. Theoretically, a confluence of biological, environmental, psychological, and even cultural or societal variables could be involved. The environment in which a person lives or was raised, heredity, neurological abnormalities, and other factors may all contribute to the development of impulse control issues.

Impulsive Compulsive Disorder (Impulse Compulsive Disorder). Impulse Control Disorders include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Pathological gambling
  • Sexual addiction
  • Binge eating
  • Compulsive shopping
  • Intermittent explosive disorder
  • Kleptomania
  • Pyromania
  • Trichotillomania

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Impact of OCD

If you experience OCD, your obsessions and compulsions will have a big impact on how you live your life.

For example: 

  • Disruption to your day-to-day life. Repeating compulsions can take up a lot of time. Moreover, you might avoid certain situations that trigger your OCD. This can mean that you’re not able to go to work, see family and friends, eat out or even go outside. Undoubtedly, obsessive thoughts can make it hard to concentrate and leave you feeling exhausted. 
  • Impact on your relationships. For one thing, you may feel that you have to hide your OCD from people close to you.
  • Feeling ashamed or lonely. You may feel ashamed of your obsessive thoughts, or worry that they can’t be treated. As a consequence, you might want to hide this part of you from other people.  In turn, this can make you feel isolated and lonely. 
  • Feeling anxious. You may find that your obsessions and compulsions are making you feel anxious and stressed. For example, some people feel that they become slaves to their compulsions and have to carry them out so frequently that they have little control over them.

There are some other mental health problems that are similar to OCD because they involve repetitive thoughts, behaviors, or urges. 

  • Perinatal OCD is when you experience OCD during pregnancy or after birth. 
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) involves obsessive worrying about one or more perceived flaws in your physical appearance and developing compulsive routines to deal with worries about the way you look. 
  • Compulsive skin picking (CSP) is the repetitive picking at your skin to relieve anxiety or urges. It can be experienced as part of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
  • Trichotillomania is a compulsive urge to pull out your hair.
  • Hoarding is when you collect, keep and find it hard to get rid of things. To the point where it affects your day-to-day life. You can read more about hoarding here. 
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a type of personality disorder. It has some related traits to OCD but is a different and separate condition
  • OCD and alcohol blackouts are very common and dangerous situations, people struggling with OCD try to relax by drinking alcohol (or taking drugs) but excessive ingest of alcohol produces blackouts, losing control of their actions, and hangover which increases OCD symptoms.

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What Causes OCD?

There are different theories about why OCD develops. However, none of these theories can explain every person’s experience. But researchers suggest that the following are likely to be involved in causing OCD:

  • family history – You’re more likely to develop OCD if a family member has it.  Possibly because of your genes.
  • differences in the brain – Some people with OCD have areas of unusually high activity in their brain or low levels of a chemical such as serotonin.
  • life events – OCD may be more common in people who have been bullied, abused, or neglected. In this case, it sometimes starts after an important life event, such as childbirth or bereavement
  • personality – Neat, meticulous, methodical people with high personal standards may be more likely to develop OCD. Also, people who are generally quite anxious.

What are OCD Treatment Options?

Not all habits or repetitive behaviors are synonymous with compulsions. Everyone has repeated thoughts or engages in double-checking things from time to time. In order to be diagnosed with OCD, their experience is characterized by:

  • An inability to control their thoughts or behaviors, even when they recognize that they are excessive or irrational
  • Spending an hour or more a day on these obsessions and compulsions
  • Experiencing significant problems and disruptions in daily life because of these thoughts and behaviors
  • Not gaining pleasure from thoughts or behaviors, but engaging in compulsive behaviors may provide a brief relief 

OCD is treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Although most patients with OCD respond to treatment, some patients continue to experience symptoms.

OCD Medication

Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to help reduce OCD symptoms as part of OCD treatment. Furthermore, SRIs often require higher daily doses in the treatment of OCD than depression. Likewise, it may take 8 to 12 weeks to start working, but some patients experience more rapid improvement.


Psychological therapy is also a highly effective OCD treatment. This may reduce the frequency and intensity of OCD symptoms. Effective OCD treatment emphasizes changes in behavior and thoughts.

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We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions. However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse.

Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success.  A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment. At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. 

We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

Finding the Right OCD Treatment at We Level Up Florida Mental Health Center

We Level Up FL Treatment Facility provides OCD treatment therapy.
We Level Up FL Treatment Facility provides OCD treatment therapy.

If you or your loved one deal with severe OCD, professional inpatient OCD treatment may be vital for long-term recovery success. To learn more, contact us today at We Level Up FL Mental Health Center. We provide the utmost care with doctors and medical staff available 24/7 for life-changing recovery. We are dedicated to providing an enhanced opportunity to return to a fulfilling and productive life.

Accepting that you might be suffering from a mental disease can be difficult, but if it has been properly identified and treated, managing the substance misuse that is now being experienced may become much simpler. These underlying disorders can only be diagnosed by a qualified medical specialist. We strongly advise you to find a reputable treatment facility if you think you are co-occurring a problem with your addiction in order to start your road to recovery. Dial We Level Up right away.

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