OCD

Frank Adair, MD

Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist located in Palo Alto, CA

Roughly one out of 40 people in the United States are diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Frank Adair, MD, is an integrative psychiatrist and psychotherapist who treats adults with OCD at his private practice in Palo Alto, California. If you think you have OCD, call the office today.

OCD Q & A

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition that involves a repetitive pattern of intrusive, unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions), and excessive urges to perform certain behaviors (compulsions). Obsessions and compulsions cause distress and interfere with daily activities. 

You may be aware that these thoughts and behaviors don’t make sense but feel powerless to stop them. They keep coming back despite your efforts to ignore or suppress them. 

Although OCD is a chronic (long-term) disorder, Dr. Adair helps you manage your symptoms and take control of your life. 

What are the symptoms of OCD?

OCD symptoms may include obsessions, compulsions, or both. These symptoms can take a lot of time and energy from your day and interfere with your job, personal relationships, and overall wellbeing. 

Obsessions

Obsessions are intrusive, irrational, and unwanted thoughts that occur repeatedly. Common examples of obsessions include:

  • Fear of dirt, germs, or contamination
  • Needing things to be symmetrical or in perfect order
  • Thoughts of harming or having harmed yourself or others

These thoughts interrupt your concentration and cause anxiety or distress. You may perform compulsive behaviors or rituals to get rid of the obsession.

Compulsions

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors you feel the urge to perform to prevent or reduce the anxiety related to obsessive thoughts. Examples of common compulsions include:

  • Excessive cleaning or hand washing
  • Counting and recounting 
  • Arranging things in a particular order

You may also check on things excessively, like making sure a door is locked or the oven is turned off, checking over and over again, though there’s no reason to think otherwise.   

How is OCD treated?

There’s no cure for OCD, but Dr. Adair develops an individualized treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms. 

Treatment for OCD includes a combination of medication management and psychotherapy. Certain psychotherapeutic medications, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety agents, can reduce obsessions and compulsions. Nutritional adjuncts can also be helpful.

Dr. Adair’s approach to psychotherapy for OCD uses a variety of techniques including CBT and rational techniques aimed at anxiety reduction. 

Although OCD is a chronic condition, Dr. Adair teaches you how to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. To learn more, call Frank Adair, MD today.