A Maryland-based psychologist with more than three decades of experience, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., assists couples, children, families, and groups by way of his private practice in Rockville. Over the course of his career, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., has helped patients work through a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, and identity issues. He also invested much work with people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD).
As the name suggests, OCD is a disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Although many people will experience overly focused thoughts and deal with repetitive behaviors from time to time, this does not mean that they have OCD. Those who do have the disorder encounter obsessions and compulsions so extreme that they alter their daily lives and suffer distressing feelings such as fear, doubt, disgust, and anxiety.
While obsessions and compulsions usually go hand-in-hand, it’s important to note that people with OCD may experience only obsessive symptoms or only compulsive symptoms. Common obsessions among those with the disorder include unwanted or extreme sexual or religious thoughts as well as fears of contamination, imperfection, losing control, or harming others. In many cases, these obsessions lead to compulsive behaviors such as constant cleaning, repetitive talk or actions, continuous ordering and arranging, and persistent checking.
Symptoms of OCD typically manifest fully for the first time in adolescence or early adulthood, but many with the disorder begin to experience symptoms in childhood. Typical treatment may include a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. OCD patients often have other co-existing conditions that also require treatment.