OCD: Appropriate Diagnosis and Treatment is Essential Author: Kristy Cobillas, LPC
Updated: May 16, 2022
The unfortunate truth.....
On average it takes approximately 17 years before an accurate diagnosis for OCD is given.
Studies show that OCD impacts approximately 2% of the population, however one cannot help but think that perhaps OCD is more pervasive, as it is often misdiagnosed as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety Disorder NOS, Bi Polar Disorder, Mania or even Psychosis or Paranoia. This is problematic, as OCD cannot be treated therapeutically or biologically in the same manner as these other diagnoses.
Known as the “doubting disease”, OCD plagues its victims with consuming repetitive “fringe thoughts”; thoughts that would never enter the mind of those who do not suffer from this insidious disease. Those who suffer with OCD may experience such musings as “what if I don’t exist”, “what if I am a child molester and don’t know it”, “what if I secretly want my parents to die” or “I just saw broken glass on the parking lot, I better clean that up or I will be responsible for someone getting hurt.” These distressing, unreasonable ideas are followed by an endless search for whether or not these ideas are true or if the sufferer is safe. This search for assurance is done via compulsions such as intense researching, excessive assurance seeking, cleaning, confessing, rumination and other repetitive and sometimes superstitious behaviors. These compulsions give momentary relief, but unfortunately the distressing ideas always return.
As aforementioned, these OCD thoughts are unreasonable. The tendency to want to meet these unreasonable ideas with logic is only natural. Unfortunately, logic doesn’t work, and often typical therapeutic interventions such as Socratic questioning, Checking the facts, Experimentation, Argumentation and other cognitive interventions, only drive the client further into the cycle.