Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialists Kahului HI
Clinical Neuropsychological Assessment, Psychological Assessment, Disability Determination or Worker Compensation Evaluation, PostTraumatic Stress Disorder or Acute Trauma Reaction, Crisis Intervention or Disaster Intervention
Adults (18-64 yrs.)
Older adults (65 yrs. or older)
Doctoral Program: Ohio U
Credentialed Since: 1978-08-09
Wailuku Maui, HI
Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry
Family Psychotherapy, Eating Disorder (e.g., compulsive eating, anorexia, bulimia), Individual Psychotherapy, PostTraumatic Stress Disorder or Acute Trauma Reaction, Forensic Evaluation (e.g., mental competency evaluation)
Doctoral Program: United States International University
Credentialed Since: 1991-12-30
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - OCD
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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
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What Is OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as handwashing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called "rituals," however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
Growing evidence reveals that OCD has a biological basis. OCD is no longer attributed to family problems or to attitudes learned in childhood. Instead, the search for causes now focuses on the interaction between biological factors and environmental influences.
Research suggests that OCD involves problems in communication between parts of the brain. These problems may be caused by insufficient levels of certain brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters. Drugs that increase the brain concentration of these chemicals often help improve OCD symptoms.
Signs & Symptoms
People with OCD may be plagued by persistent, unwelcome thoughts or images, or by the urgent need to engage in certain rituals. They may be obsessed with germs or dirt, and wash their hands over and over. They may be filled with doubt and feel the need to check things repeatedly.
Effective treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with OCD and other anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives.
The most common treatment for OCD is a combination of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (CBT) and medication.
Behavioral therapy known as “exposure and response prevention” is very useful for treating OCD. In this approach, a person is deliberately and voluntarily exposed to whatever triggers the obsessive thoughts (exposure) and is then taught techniques to avoid performing the compulsive rituals (response prevention). The cognitive portion of CBT is often added to E/RP to help challenge the irrational beliefs associated with OCD.
Several medications have been proven effective in helping people with OCD, particularly those that increase the level of the neurotransmitter, serotonin. These are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and include Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.Outcome