Oct 15 2011
You have mostly likely heard the acronym OCD before but do you know what it stands for? OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. We all have obsessions such as worrying bad things will happen and compulsions such as knocking on wood. The O and the C of OCD are a natural part of our lives. It is when these obsessions and compulsions begin to run our lives that it becomes a disorder.
According to Aureen Pinto Wagner, one of the leading OCD experts for children, “obsessions are thoughts or worries that pop into your mind and won’t go away, even when there’s no reason to be worried”. Some common obsessions are worries about germs, getting sick, doing something wrong, hurting others, thinking things have to be just right, and saving things you do not need. Wagner states “compulsions are the rituals you do over and over again to make the obsession go away”. Some examples of rituals are washing, cleaning, apologizing repeatedly, arranging, checking, and starting things over again.
Dealing with OCD can make you feel confused, scared, angry, embarrassed, sad, and hopeless. The good news is that there are effective forms of treatment. According to the International OCD Foundation, one of the most effective forms of therapy is a cognitive behavioral therapy called Exposure-Response Prevention, or “ERP”. The IOCDF states: