Does OCD mean that you’re crazy? (Hint: No!)
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Does OCD mean that you’re crazy? (Hint: No!)

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts that cause anxiety and discomfort. These thoughts, also called obsessions, can cause enough distress to a person with OCD that they feel the need to perform repetitive behaviors. The repetitive behaviors (compulsions) are performed with the aim of reducing the stress caused by an unwanted thought. Most people with this condition gradually develop symptoms throughout their life. It’s estimated that anywhere from 1% to 3% of people in the U.S. have OCD. 

It’s common to feel overwhelmed by the symptoms of OCD. If you’re someone who is struggling with this condition and you feel like you might be crazy, we’re here to tell you that you’re not. What you’re feeling doesn’t make you crazy, and fortunately, it can be managed with a little bit of help. Here’s what else you need to know about obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What are some of the specific types of OCD a person can have?

There are no official categories for OCD. While some people may experience just one type, other people might experience several. These are just some generalized categories of obsessive-compulsive disorder:  

  • Relationship OCD
  • Contamination OCD
  • Unacceptable thought OCD
  • Checking OCD
  • Organization OCD

What else do researchers have to say about people who have OCD? 

There’s little to no evidence to support the idea that people who have OCD are crazy. Although some days your symptoms might make you feel like you’re going crazy, this simply isn’t true. Keep reading to learn what researchers have to say about people who deal with OCD on a daily basis.

  • Negative self-perceptions can interfere with treatment — Some people with OCD may not respond well to treatment because they believe the symptoms of their condition are part of their personality. For example, someone might not recognize their OCD symptoms as part of a mental health disorder, but might instead tell themselves that their symptoms just mean they’re crazy.

What are some ways that a person can try to manage their OCD on their own?

  • Try to manage your stress levels — OCD symptoms can flare up during periods of stress. If at all possible, it may help you to eliminate some of the sources of your stress so that you’re less prone to flare-ups.
  • Learn your triggers — While stress is a general trigger for most people with OCD, some people will have unique triggers. It can be helpful to learn what your personal triggers are so that you can avoid them or work to be more mindful of what factors are more likely to spur the beginning of an obsession or compulsion.
  • Try to create a bedtime routine — Getting sleep can feel impossible when you’re dealing with intrusive thoughts that you just can’t seem to get away from. Some people with OCD benefit from creating a bedtime routine. Making a unique routine before bed can signal to your body that you’re going to sleep and may help you prevent those dreaded sleepless nights. 

What other kinds of treatment are available for those who have OCD?

  • Therapy — Therapy can often be an effective treatment option for those who have OCD. If you’re someone who feels like you’re going crazy, you should reach out to a licensed therapist who can help you identify your unique symptoms and stressors. A therapist can give you the tools you need to effectively manage your condition and improve your quality of life.
  • Medication — There are medications available to people who have OCD that may help manage the symptoms a person may regularly deal with. While medication may work for some people, it’s not always an effective option for everyone. If you’re considering going on medication for your OCD symptoms, you should have an honest conversation with your doctor or therapist about whether it may work for you. Medication also usually becomes most effective when paired with therapy and some of the other methods mentioned in the sections above.

Lightfully wants to help you understand that having OCD doesn’t mean you’re going crazy

Our mission at Lightfully is to work with individuals to change their life compassionately. We strive to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients through a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. Lightfully offers various layers of service to both adults and teens: residential treatment, Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We regularly see clients who actively manage mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and trauma disorders. If you are someone who regularly struggles with their OCD symptoms, we believe we can make a positive difference in your life. Our therapists are passionate about helping our clients with OCD learn more about their condition and understand that they’re not really going crazy. 

Our licensed, clinical experts see each client as a complex and layered human — not just a diagnosis. We value our clients as they are and hope to enrich their lives through treatment. Our vision for the future is an authentic and loving community where everyone can be seen, heard, and valued as they are. We believe in the light within each individual, and when that light is properly nurtured it can allow a person to shine brighter than ever before.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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