Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that involves some unique symptoms. Though OCD can have severe symptoms that get in the way of living your life, various methods can be used to treat it. OCD involves obsessive and intrusive thoughts that are difficult to ignore. These thoughts often give way to compulsive actions called rituals that are usually done to placate obsessive thinking.
For instance, an example of an obsessive thought could include the feeling that you didn’t turn off the oven. You may not be able to stop thinking about it until you check it several times. There are many types of OCD, and the categories are distinguished by the types of obsessions and rituals people experience.
OCD can start to take over your life, and that’s what sets it apart from other obsessions. It can make it difficult to maintain employment, get restful sleep, and form meaningful relationships. It can also lower your quality of life and contribute to other mental and physical health problems. Florida, like the rest of the country, struggles with a variety of mental health problems. Even the residents of sunny Broward County have to deal with mental health issues like OCD. However, with access to mental health care, even severe substance use problems can be treated. Learn more about OCD and residential treatment options in Broward County.
OCD isn’t as common as some other mental health issues, such as depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but it does affect millions of people. In the United States, around 2.2 million people have OCD, which accounts for around 1% of the population.
Broward County is a beautiful coastal county on Florida’s Gold Coast. But even in such a picturesque place, mental health is a significant problem. Florida is also below average when it comes to access to care. Around 61.7% of adults with a mental illness didn’t receive treatment. The national average is around 55.8%. Broward County is among the most populated counties in Florida, and it sees fairly high rates of issues like suicide. In 2016, there were 243 suicides in the county.
No medical test can detect OCD. However, when you’re seeking a diagnosis for mental health-related symptoms, it’s always good to have a psychological and biological evaluation. While there is no medical test that can lead to an OCD diagnosis, medical tests can find or rule out other causes for your symptoms.
Psychological symptoms can be caused by prescription and illicit drugs, tumors, vitamin deficiencies, and other biological problems. However, if your symptoms aren’t able to be explained by those other causes, a list of factors can point to OCD. Doctors and clinicians will likely use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to find a mental health diagnosis, especially the fifth and most recent edition.
You’ll sit down with a therapist or clinician for an interview. During the interview, the clinician will look for signs and symptoms that meet the DSM criteria for OCD or another mental health issue. According to the DSM, the first sign of OCD is obsession, which can be characterized by intrusive or unwanted thoughts. The obsession that’s present in people with OCD is distinct from the obsession of a sports fanatic or Star Wars fan in that it’s not enjoyable or wanted. OCD-caused obsessive thoughts are usually distressing or unpleasant, and they may cause you to feel significant anxiety.
The second part of an OCD diagnosis is compulsive behavior. If obsessions dominate your thinking, compulsions are the actions those thoughts lead to. Compulsions are usually rituals that are used to ease obsessive thoughts.
Compulsive behavior may involve repetitive actions, such as checking to make sure the oven is off a certain number of times before leaving the house. Compulsions can be physical or mental. A physical compulsion can be something like washing your hands several times in a row in a specific pattern. A mental compulsion may involve counting or repeating a phrase in your mind or out loud.
One of the most important aspects of OCD that needs to be present for a diagnosis is the disorder part. Most people experience intrusive thoughts or ritual behavior from time to time, but when these things start to disrupt your life, it may qualify as OCD. Also, OCD is not a psychotic disorder, so the people who experience it will know that their symptoms are illogical or excessive. Despite that knowledge, they may not be able to control their thoughts or compulsions.
Residential rehab involves 24-hour treatment in a hospital or apartment-style setting. You’ll have access to medical monitoring or clinical management at all hours of the day. Residential or inpatient treatment services are for people who need care beyond daytime therapy sessions or treatment services. But when is residential treatment necessary?
In most cases, OCD can be treated in outpatient settings, but in very severe cases, residential services may be necessary. An inpatient level of care may come after a period when symptoms are so severe that they require hospitalization.
You may also check yourself into an inpatient program if you feel like you’re struggling to cope with symptoms on your own. One of the clearest signs that you may need a higher level of care is suicidal thoughts and ideation. If symptoms have gotten so severe that you’re feeling hopeless or that your life is worthless, you may need higher levels of care.
If you have brief thoughts of suicide, with no clear intentions of suicidal actions, you may be wondering if you should reach of for residential treatment, but there is no mental health issue that’s too small to reach out for help.
Another reason for residential treatment of OCD is if your symptoms get so severe that you’re having trouble taking care of yourself. If obsessive thoughts and compulsions are taking up so much of your time that you can barely do anything else, it can start to affect your health. If you can’t sleep and if your hygiene or nutrition is suffering, you may need more intensive help addressing your OCD.
You may require residential treatment if you’ve tried several other approaches to treatment with little to no improvement. If you’ve tried medications and outpatient therapy for a while with no relief in your symptoms, you may want to try a higher level of care.
To find the right treatment for your OCD, you can start by speaking to your doctor or therapist about your symptoms. If you haven’t been diagnosed, that’s the first step in addressing a mental health issue. Ask your family doctor or therapist about OCD and how you can learn more about your mental health symptoms.
If you’ve been diagnosed with OCD and you’re interested in higher levels of care, you can talk to your doctor or even call a local clinic to ask questions about residential treatment. If you feel like you’re in crisis or that you need higher-level help right away, reach out immediately.
Call your doctor, visit a hospital, or visit a psychiatric clinic. You can also visit a Broward County resource directory to find crisis hotlines where you can speak to someone immediately.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Facts & Statistics. from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
Broward Connections Guidebook. (n.d.). Mental Health Services. from https://www.browardconnections.org/mental-health-services-1.html
Florida Behavioral Health Association. (n.d.). Facts about Mental Health in Florida. from https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.fadaa.org/resource/resmgr/files/Mental_Health/FADAA_Slipsheet1_Final.pdf
National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety Disorders. from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
National Institute of Mental Health. (2019, October). Obsessive-compulsive disorder. from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml