Have you been plagued by unwanted thoughts, feelings, sensations, or images? Maybe you cannot escape the idea that you left your front door unlocked or the stove on or that there is something else vital that you forgot to do that will have serious consequences. Perhaps you experience a feeling of dread that something will go wrong or someone will be hurt if you do not perform a specific ritual or action to keep it at bay. Intrusive thoughts or obsessions present differently for each individual, but what they have in common is that they are involuntary, unwanted, and cause discomfort, anxiety, or distress for the person experiencing them. Our Houston OCD therapists can help you take control of your symptoms.
Compulsive thoughts are so convincing and powerful that they can impact your behaviors. You may feel compelled to perform physical steps, “checks,” or mental rituals to manage discomfort or ward off imagined adverse outcomes. Sometimes, you may need to repeat these rituals a specific number of times or in a particular order. While these rituals may cause temporary relief, it is usually short-lived, and the cycle repeats.
OCD symptoms manifest in various ways. Some may revolve around safety fears, such as thinking a friend or family member will have something horrible happen to them. Some may experience fears of illness or contamination, possibly heightened by the recent pandemic. Others feel tormented by images or thoughts of harming others or themselves.
Some common symptoms of OCD include:
Sometimes OCD presents independently, or it may co-occur as part of another disorder, such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and PTSD. Our OCD therapists near Houston can help you address concerns with OCD and can assist in treating other contributing factors.
Battling intrusive thoughts and compulsions alone can feel overwhelming and ineffective. You may have difficulty differentiating thoughts founded on legitimate concerns from imagined threats. Because these threats seem so real and the consequences feel so dire, your anxiety and fear may drive you to continue performing exhaustive rituals because your brain believes that is the only way to protect itself or others. If this sounds like something you are struggling with, it may be time to contact a licensed therapist for help. Our OCD therapists near Houston can recognize these problematic thought patterns and show you how to restructure them so you can find lasting relief. Confronting these thoughts can be scary and uncomfortable, but we are here to guide and support you.
At Therapists for Families, we can provide you with the tools to manage intrusive thoughts and compulsions through Houston OCD counseling. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a multi-faceted approach, well-researched and scientifically proven treatment to address OCD. CBT focuses on exacting behavioral changes by addressing problematic thought patterns and beliefs. By their nature, impulsive thoughts are impossible to control, and the act of trying to control them usually feeds into exhaustive compulsions.
CBT can help you identify, evaluate, and accept these obsessions and help you understand how they affect your feelings and behaviors. Your therapist will help you develop several techniques to help reduce the elevated anxiety levels you may be experiencing. These skills include grounding, mindfulness, and relaxation. Your OCD specialists will work with you to identify the situations and fears that may be driving your obsessions and compulsions. Additionally, you will learn to utilize these techniques to combat the anxiety and discomfort that arise when you encounter them. Cognitive restructuring is another strategy that involves substituting realistic and constructive beliefs in place of distorted or unhelpful ones.
These methods will help you gain freedom from your compulsions and overcome the obsessions that hold you hostage. Your mind can be yours again, a safe space to experience the good things in life. We will help you gain confidence in navigating the thoughts and situations that might have once held you back.