OCD Specialist

Gregory Haley, MD -  - Psychiatrist

Alianza: Healthy Thinking

Gregory Haley, MD

Psychiatrist located in Scottdale, GA

On average, the first symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) appear around the age of 19, but they can develop earlier and persist throughout adulthood. Dr. Gregory Haley understands how difficult it is to live life with OCD, and he works closely with each of his patients at Alianza Healthy Thinking to create a treatment plan that helps them overcome their obsessions and compulsions. If you have questions about OCD, call the office in Scottdale, Georgia or book an appointment online.

OCD Q & A

What is OCD?

People with OCD have repetitive and unwanted thoughts and feelings (obsessions) followed by an uncontrollable urge to take a specific action (compulsion). Since they can’t stop the thoughts and resulting anxiety, they engage in the behavior to relieve stress and anxiety.

You may or may not realize your thoughts and behaviors are excessive and don’t make sense. Either way, you can’t stop them.

If you manage to ignore obsessions temporarily, the thoughts recur. If you can stop yourself from a ritualistic behavior, your anxiety skyrockets. As a result, you develop an ongoing cycle of intrusive thoughts and irrepressible actions.

OCD often begins during childhood, adolescence, or in young adulthood. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe, often interfering with your ability to engage in daily life.

What types of obsessions are common?

Obsessions tend to intrude and interrupt your thoughts, even when you’re trying to focus on other things. Obsessive thoughts often have common themes, such as:

  • Fear of dirt or germs
  • Needing your surroundings to be orderly or symmetrical
  • Harming yourself or others
  • Unpleasant sexual images
  • Fear of saying something inappropriate
  • Doubts about doing something like locking the door or turning off the stove

What types of compulsions are common?

Compulsions are performed to relieve anxiety brought on by an obsession. For instance, you may follow rules or rituals that you know don’t make sense, but you believe they’ll prevent something bad from happening. Specific examples of common compulsions include:

  • Following a strict routine
  • Demanding reassurance
  • Washing and cleaning, such as frequent and excessive hand washing
  • Counting over and over to be sure you counted properly
  • Repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked or the stove is turned off
  • Maintaining order by constantly rearranging items or putting them in a certain order

Everyone occasionally wonders if they remembered to lock the door and goes back once to check. By comparison, a person with OCD may know for sure the door is locked, but they go back multiple times to check anyway.

How is OCD treated?

Most patients benefit from a combination of medication and psychotherapy, which are both available from the team at Alianza Healthy Thinking. Medications can help reduce your symptoms, while psychotherapy or talk therapy can relieve obsessions and compulsions by helping you find ways to tolerate anxiety and not follow through on behaviors.

You can get help for OCD at Alianza Healthy Thinking. Schedule an appointment by calling the office or using online booking.

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