You've heard the term obsessive behavior. But what are obsessions and obsessive behaviors? Most people have experienced a thought that would not go away. This thought could have been caused by the fear of giving a presentation. Perhaps you couldn't stop thinking about your anxiety over an upcoming test. However, what happens when these thoughts become obsessions and intrude on one's life? It can lead to depression and anxiety when one has to deal with constant intrusive thoughts or obsessions.
Have you ever had a thought that just would not go away? No matter what you did, the thought would creep back. Perhaps it was a thought about getting an illness, or maybe a thought about what would happen in school or work the next day. Whatever you did to try to think about something else, the thought would come right back. These intrusive thoughts are obsessions.
These obsessions can cause a great deal of fear and anxiety. The anxiety can become so intense that one might develop behaviors to alleviate it. Often, these behaviors don't have any positive impact on the person suffering from the obsessions. They don't always lead to the fear or anxiety subsiding, but occasionally they will. This leads people to compulsively repeat these behaviors or rituals. The behaviors may include but are not limited to constant hand washing, skin picking, plucking of eyelashes, and avoiding cracks in the pavement. Anything the person that suffers from the intrusive thoughts can do to relieve a little of the anxiety can easily become an obsessive behavior or compulsion.
Treatment for obsessions and obsessive behavior usually includes cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT helps the patient reprogram the error in their thinking. Often faulty thinking can be at the root of obsessions that lead to obsessive behavior. CBT is often used in combination with exposure response prevention therapy. With ERP Therapy, the patient is put into situations that increase the anxiety, rather than lessen it. This allows the patient to learn how to cope with the anxiety in a way that is more productive. The NIMH also found that using medication, in addition to CBT and ERP Therapy, yielded the best outcomes when it comes to OCD. A therapist may suggest an SSRI in addition to any talk therapy.
If you're suffering from obsessions and obsessive behaviors, you don't need to. Contact a local licensed mental health therapist to get treatment for you obsessions or obsessive behaviors. At High Expectations Counseling we are trained and ready to assist you in recovery. Give us a call today at 407-967-1327.