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Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, PLLC

Psychiatrists serving Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic disorder that presents as uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and/or behaviors. At Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, PLLC, Elizabeth Bullard, MD, and Allison Foroobar, MD, have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of OCD. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call the office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, today.


What should I know about OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) causes cycles of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Obsessions are unwanted images and thoughts that intrude into consciousness.  

These obsessions can cause intense anxiety and, for some people, are relieved by taking actions referred to as compulsions behaviors.  Compulsive behaviors may be repetitive. 

Obsessions and compulsions appear in cycles, but their frequency varies. In severe cases, performing compulsive behaviors can take hours per day. As a result, OCD makes it hard to perform at work or to participate in daily life.

What types of obsessions might develop?

Obsessive thoughts and images often follow a theme, such as:

  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Fear of losing important items
  • Fear of being harmed
  • Fear of engaging in illegal activities
  • Fear of saying something offensive
  • Need to maintain order and symmetry
  • Need to verify an action

What types of compulsions might follow?

Compulsions often pair up with obsessions, and may include:

  • Excessive cleaning or hand-washing
  • Demanding constant reassurance
  • Ordering or arranging items in a particular way
  • Repeatedly checking on things such as door locks or oven dials
  • Constantly rearranging items
  • Repeatedly counting items
  • Facial grimacing, motor or vocal tics

A compulsion doesn’t have to be a physical activity. For example, counting in your head while doing a task because you’re compelled to do it a specific number of times.

How do you treat OCD?

OCD is generally treated with medication, psychotherapy, or both.  Several medications can be effective in reducing symptoms of OCD.  

Your physician will complete a comprehensive assessment of your symptoms and discuss if medication treatment is appropriate to reduce symptoms.  Several psychotherapy modalities have also been found to be effective in treating anxiety disorders.  

As part of your comprehensive assessment, your physician will discuss specific psychotherapeutic options to minimize your anxiety symptoms.

You can get the treatment you need for OCD at Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, PLLC. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.