Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) services offered in Bellevue, WA

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) consumes your time with ongoing cycles of anxiety-producing thoughts and rigid, repetitive behaviors. If you struggle with OCD symptoms, it’s time to seek help from Jeanne Nicholson, ARNP, PMHNP-BC, at Nicholson Psychiatry, PLLC, in Bellevue, Washington. Jeanne has helped many people overcome OCD with medication management, working with each person to create a customized treatment that may combine medication with therapy. Schedule an appointment today by calling the office or using online booking.

What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, causes unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that are disturbing and cause extreme anxiety. These thoughts trigger an urge to ease your anxiety by engaging in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). If you don’t follow through with the compulsive behavior, your distress, fear, and anxiety increase.

Though compulsive behaviors temporarily relieve your anxiety, the thoughts eventually return, and you perform the behavior, and the cycle continues.

The cycle of intrusive thoughts and rigid behaviors is virtually impossible to break without treatment. In the most severe cases of OCD, obsessions and compulsions take up so much time and energy that they disrupt daily life.

What OCD symptoms might I have?

Obsessions take many different forms, but they often revolve around a theme. Compulsive behaviors usually (but not always) follow the same theme.

These are a few of the most common obsessions:

  • Fear of being harmed
  • Fear of becoming violent
  • Fear of behaving inappropriately
  • Fear of losing important items
  • Extreme need to maintain order and cleanliness

Compulsive behaviors that accompany obsessions include frequent hand washing (in response to thoughts about germs) and constantly rearranging items (due to the need for orderliness).

The fear of harm may compel you to keep checking doors and windows to be sure they’re locked (even if you just checked them, and in your head, you know they’re locked).

Though less common, you may have obsessions that aren’t obvious behaviors, like counting or repeating the same phrase in your head.

How is OCD diagnosed and treated?

You receive a thorough psychiatric evaluation at Nicholson Psychiatry, PLLC, to assess your mental and physical health and determine if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder. The criteria for diagnosing OCD include obsessional thoughts and/or compulsions that take up more than an hour every day, cause significant distress, and affect your family, work, or social life.

Your symptoms can improve with treatment, even if you have severe OCD. Jeanne specializes in medication management, often prescribing a type of antidepressant targeting the brain chemicals involved in OCD.

Antidepressants typically take eight to twelve weeks before your symptoms improve. During that time, Jeanne carefully monitors your symptoms and may recommend therapy to help you recognize distorted thinking, change compulsive behaviors, and overcome fears.

Call Nicholson Psychiatry, PLLC, today or use online booking to request an appointment and start treatment that helps you reclaim the time spent controlled by OCD.