Treatment of OCD in NYC~
Dr. Dmitry Malkin
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is the experience of having distressing and unwanted obsessions and compulsions, that impact significantly on your everyday functioning. The disorder can take many forms and degrees of severity. While it is entirely natural to have occasional worries or concerns, say, the thought that you might have left your front door unlocked, OCD would be the frequently recurring thought that you have left your front door unlocked, many times a day. The consequence for the OCD sufferer is likely to be quite uncomfortable levels of anxiety.
The precise nature of your OCD will probably be entirely unique, based on your personal experiences. Typically speaking, a person’s OCD will fall into one of the following four areas.
The need to check is the compulsion; the obsessive fear might be to prevent damage, fire, leaks or harm. Common checking includes:
- Memory (testing one's memory to 'make sure' an intrusive thought is just a thought and didn't happen).
- Gas or electric stove knobs (fear of causing an explosion and, therefore, the house to burn down).
- Water taps (fear of flooding property and damaging irreplaceable treasured items).
- Door locks (fear of allowing a burglar to break in and steal or cause harm).
- House alarm (fear of allowing a thief to break in and steal or cause harm).
- Windows (fear of allowing a thief to break in and steal or cause harm).
- Appliances (fear of causing the house to burn down).
- House lights (fear of causing the house to burn down).
- Car doors (fear of car being stolen).
- Re-reading postal letters and greetings cards before sealing/mailing (fear of writing something inappropriate or offensive).
- Candles (fear of causing the house to burn down).
- Route after driving (fear of causing an accident).
- Wallet or purse (fear of losing valuable bank cards or documents).
- Illnesses and symptoms online (fear of developing a disease, constant checking of symptoms).
- People – Calling and Texting (fear of harm happening to a loved one).
- Reassurance (fear of saying or doing something to offend or upset a loved one).
- Re-reading words or lines in a book over and over again (fear of not quite taking in the information or missing something important from the text).
- Schizophrenia Symptoms – (fear that OCD is a precursor to Schizophrenia, which will cause them to lose control).
The compulsion to check things is often carried out multiple times, sometimes for many hours. This can have a terrible effect on our lives, as we miss appointments, are late for work, and damaged items that are regularly checked.
The need to clean and wash is the compulsion; the obsessive fear is that something is contaminated and/or may cause illness, and ultimately death, to a loved one or oneself.
- Using public toilets (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Coming into contact with chemicals (fear of contamination).
- Shaking hands (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Touching doorknobs/handles (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Using public telephones (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Waiting in a GP’s surgery (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Visiting hospitals (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Eating in a cafe/restaurant (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Washing clothes in a launderette (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Touching bannisters on staircases (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Touching poles (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Being in a crowd (fear of contracting germs from other people).
- Avoiding red objects and stains (fear of contracting HIV/AIDS from blood like stains).
- Clothes (having to shake clothes to remove dead skin cells, fear of contamination).
- Excessive Tooth Brushing (fear of leaving minute remains of mouth disease).
- Cleaning of Kitchen and Bathroom (fear of germs spreading to family).
Hoarding is a complex form of OCD where a person has three main problems:
- They have difficulty in discarding items.
- They buy, save or collect anything and everything and are unable to throw anything away, even when space is running out.
- They have problems with the organisation of items.
These problems often culminate in the hoarder living in a small area of a room, with the rest taken over by the saved or difficult to discard items. The sufferer undergoes great emotional distress if things are thrown away, for fear that the article will be useful later, or that there is an emotional attachment to often innocuous standard items, such as newspapers.
Rumination and Intrusive Thoughts
One who suffers from this kind of OCD will often spend much time indulging in unproductive thinking about a particular topic or theme. In itself, rumination is not a negative aspect of the human psyche; it is of course right to reflect and to think deeply on matters. When the rumination becomes obsessive to the point where we detach from the concerns of our lives or other people in favour of our thoughts, this can pose a problem for us as we move through society. Intrusive thoughts are different to rumination in that rather than being a seemingly welcome mental diversion; the thoughts cause great distress. The intrusive thoughts can be highly graphic, being sexual, violent or repugnant to ourselves. It is a common intrusive thought to imagine committing some great harm to a family member or loved one. Of course, to the sufferer, these intrusive thoughts distress and alarm- the very idea of being capable of thinking these thoughts can be horrifying. What is clear is that people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are, in fact, the least likely people to act on the thoughts, partly because they find them so repugnant and go to great lengths to avoid them and prevent them happening.
Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Dr. Dmitry Malkin is highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The condition is, as we have seen, highly varied but most people can manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives. Through a combination of psychopharmacology, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and talking therapies, Dr. Malkin is the experienced professional who can guide you through an effective treatment.