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Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Christopher Fischer, M.D.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is considered a type of anxiety disorder. OCD involves two main components – obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions consist of unwanted intrusive thoughts and images. These obsessions trigger increased feelings of anxiety and unease which can be significantly debilitating. A person with OCD, then engages in a compulsion (such as checking and rechecking or counting), also known as a repetitive type behavior, to attempt to relief the feeling of anxiety or unease. Unfortunately, the relief is only temporary as it provides only a short sense of comfort. Eventually the obsessions return and the cycle repeats itself. Persons with OCD typically have good insight into the irrationality of their behaviors but find it near impossible to stop engaging in compulsions. OCD can take a significant toll on individuals as it affects their daily functioning and ability to engage in the world. It is vital we find new ways of treating OCD, particularly when other methods have failed or have only partially decreased symptoms. At Propel Therapeutics Wellness Center, we have expertise using ketamine-assisted psychotherapy to target symptoms of OCD. Ketamine treatments allow for a break in the obsession-compulsion cycle and opens up a shift in perspective. This creates an opportunity to develop new neural pathways, change behaviors, and improve functioning.

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