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Therapy can help you understand the underlying anxiety associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Therapists teach coping strategies to contain this anxiety before it compromises your life and relationships.
You can’t start a project because everything has to be in a particular order. It’s difficult to leave the house because you have to repeatedly wash your hands or keep going back to make sure the door is locked. You may be worrying about the same thing over and over or fear you can’t control certain impulses.
These are just a few examples of how uncontrolled obsessions and compulsions can take over a life. Obsessions (thoughts, images, and sounds that play repeatedly in your head) and compulsions (behaviors and rituals you need to perform over and over) occur along a spectrum of severity: Some are relatively benign; others cause a great deal of distress and can occupy the better part of one’s day. Often there is a genetic component to OCD, which can get worse during times of stress. Attempts to fight the impulses can actually fuel the behavior itself.
You can learn how to respond to these obsessions and compulsions, so that with time they become less compelling. Working with your therapist, you can utilize coping strategies to contain the often deep-seated anxiety that underlies the thoughts and behaviors. Through the process of therapy (sometimes together with medication), you can deal more effectively with what is bothering you and attain greater freedom in your daily life.