Obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that affects many people, of all ages and from all walks of life. It can be overwhelming and cause you a great deal of panic, anxiety, and stress. You may feel that your life is overrun by obsessions in your head that drive your compulsions, neither of which you can stop.
If you’ve been suffering with this disorder, there is hope for a normal life. The skilled physicians at Boston MindCare specialize in treating anxiety disorders with ketamine. This drug, along with other treatments, may be able to calm your symptoms and help you get your life back on track.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by persistent and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that compel you to perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions) in an attempt to control these thoughts. If you have OCD, not doing the compulsions in response to your thoughts can cause you a huge amount of anxiety.
OCD becomes a real problem when it controls your life. The constant thoughts and compulsions can make a normal daily routine seem almost impossible.
Many people have persistent thoughts, but it doesn't interfere with their everyday lives. To be diagnosed with OCD, your obsessions or compulsions must disrupt more than one hour of your day, interfere with your work and social life, and cause you a significant amount of distress if you don’t follow your routine.
You may realize that your obsessions are completely unreasonable and a product of your mind; however, the disorder does not allow you to settle these thoughts with logic or reason.
Obsessions versus compulsions
Obsessions are the unwanted thoughts that run through your mind, constantly pushing you to perform the compulsions in an attempt to ease your anxiety. Some examples of common obsessions include:
- Fear of germs
- Violent thoughts of harming yourself or another
- Needing things to be exact or symmetrical
- Religious or sexual thoughts
- Thoughts of doubt such as not turning off the stove or locking the door
Compulsions are the actions you feel you must perform to ease anxiety related to obsessive thoughts. You may think that these rituals will prevent bad things from happening, but the truth is these actions only temporarily relieve your anxiety, which returns when your thoughts start again. Examples of compulsions include:
- Repetitive hand washing
- Frequently checking the door to see if it’s locked
- Checking the stove to make sure it’s off
- Counting things in specific ways
- Arranging items so that they’re all facing the same way
Treatment of OCD symptoms
There are many treatment options available if you’re dealing with OCD. Two of the main treatment options for this disorder are cognitive behavioral therapy and medications. Both may be effective at easing your symptoms, and sometimes a combination of both may be what you need to live anxiety-free.
Our physicians specialize in ketamine infusion therapy, another type of treatment which reduces symptoms with far fewer side effects than traditional medications do. Ketamine works on receptors in your brain that deal with the neurotransmitter glutamate.
Ketamine works to reduce glutamate in areas of your brain that control thoughts and behaviors. By reducing the amount of the neurotransmitter available, our physicians have found that it induces a reaction called extinction learning. This basically stops your constant obsessive thoughts from occurring because the cells aren’t stimulated.
Ketamine therapy can be the answer if you’re suffering from OCD that affects your daily living. If you’re interested in learning more, call us at 781-247-5323 or book an appointment online with one of our physicians today.