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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is when individuals have obsessive thinking patterns that can include unwanted thoughts, images, or urges that make them feel anxious or distressed. Other examples of OCD can include fear of contamination, doubts about completing a task, or thoughts of aggression. Individuals with OCD often have significant difficulty pushing away or ignoring these thoughts.

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Our OCD Treatment Program in Atlanta, GA

Because OCD is chronic and debilitating and can impact daily life, family and social relationships, and overall quality of life, our OCD treatment program in Atlanta, GA, at the Summit Wellness Group, can help.

Through our expertise in treating mental health disorders such as OCD, those with an anxiety disorder also have compulsive behaviors that attempt to reverse the obsessive thoughts or urges by performing some action. We offer several evidence-based treatment programs, including an intensive outpatient program, a partial hospitalization program, and sober living.

OCD is a public health concern in Georgia, and its prevalence in Atlanta continues to grow.

  • In a 2016 Georgia Department of Education report, 24,686 students stated they attempted to harm themselves more than once.
  • OCD affects people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • According to the National Institute of Mental Health, close to 1.2% of adults in the U.S. have OCD, which equates to approximately 31,000 individuals in Georgia suffering from OCD.
  • The Georgia Center for OCD and Anxiety reports 50-60% of adults with OCD symptoms state that their symptoms began during childhood.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Our Approach to OCD Treatment

Having a team of experts is essential for OCD treatment because of the complexity of mental health. Treatment program approaches require specialized knowledge and skills to treat each person effectively. This is why Summit Wellness Group provides a customized approach. We work to uncover underlying issues that increase long-term recovery because our goal is to discover the particular concerns of each of our clients.

A correlation between substance abuse and OCD suggests that those with OCD tend to develop substance abuse disorders, also known as co-occurring disorders, at a higher rate. The severity for each person depends on the nature of their OCD and other underlying or preexisting conditions.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Self-medication: Individuals with OCD tend to use substances as a form of self-medicating. Some turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve the anxiety and distress caused by obsessions and compulsions.
  • Comorbidity: OCD often occurs alongside mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. As a result, individuals resort to substances as a means of coping.
  • Impulsivity: Individuals with OCD experience impulses, which lead to risky behaviors, including substance abuse.

What Does Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Look Like?

Symptoms of OCD can be split into two categories: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are repetitive and intrusive thoughts that lead to feelings of anxiety. Compulsions, on the other hand, are the repetitive behaviors that occur in response to that anxiety.

Some of the symptoms of OCD can include:

  • Persistent, intrusive thoughts, urges, and or images that cause distress
  • Compulsions aimed at reducing anxiety or preventing a fear outcome
  • Preoccupation with order or symmetry
  • Intrusive thoughts that are violent or sexual
  • Avoidance of certain situations or objects that trigger obsessions
  • Significant distress that interferes with daily life
  • Intense fear of germs or contamination that leads to excessive and repetitive cleaning
  • Repeatedly checking things, like the stove or locks on doors and windows
  • Compulsive counting
  • An inability to control one’s thoughts

Individuals with OCD spend hours daily focusing only on these thoughts or actions because they feel brief relief from performing compulsions. This relief does not bring pleasure and does not last long. Continuation of compulsions may cause severe forms of distress and may increase anxiety.

For individuals struggling with OCD, we offer comprehensive programs that target all aspects of distress. This is accomplished in a structured and flexible way. These include:

OCD Treatment Services

At The Summit Wellness Group, we use a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and individual therapy that focus on symptom management to treat clients with OCD. Medications such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) effectively reduce unwanted symptoms if needed. Medication is often combined with CBT or exposure and response prevention therapy to address thinking patterns and prevent compulsions from being allowed to occur. Both are effective in reducing both obsessions and compulsions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

We administer evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in individual therapy, group therapy, or family/couples interventions. There are various methods in behavioral health for which CBT is utilized, including:

  • Positive CBT is a form of CBT that focuses on the things that our clients do that work outside of their OCD tendencies. This is done to build on these actions with the treatment team.
  • Trauma-focused CBT addresses the underlying trauma that is often the cause of substance abuse. This form of CBT may be the most sensitive because it is tailored specifically to each client and brings up the experiences of trauma that led to developing OCD disorder. The therapist uses those experiences to inform how to approach personal and family relationships.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) focuses on helping individuals develop psychological flexibility, which is the ability to adapt to changing situations and shift our clients’ perspectives when responding to challenges consistent with meeting each client’s individualized goals. When adding this approach to our client’s OCD treatment plans, we can better provide the tools to navigate life, manage stress and anxiety, and maintain positive social relationships.
  • Mindfulness CBT, which uses elements of positive CBT, focuses on meditation to help clients consciously pay attention to their thoughts. Mindfulness identifies negative thought patterns that lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

Group Therapy

Group therapy involves two or more individuals along with one of our therapists. We understand the importance of having a support system so clients take turns expressing their struggles, feelings, experiences, and goals they have set to maintain long-term recovery.

In a group setting, we tailor the sessions to specific topics that benefit each client. Those topics include avoiding triggers, handling social settings and relationships, and developing and maintaining relationships, among other issues.

Individual Therapy

As a component of our comprehensive approach, individual therapy is a safe space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and concerns one-on-one with your therapist, and you are the sole focus. This allows for deeper insight into the issues that led to addiction, giving each client more time to develop coping strategies.

OCD Treatment Programs

For individuals struggling with comorbid obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance abuse or other conditions, we offer comprehensive programs that target all aspects of distress within the individual in a structured and flexible way.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): This plan is the most flexible for individuals as it only requires 9 hours, split into three days a week at one of our two facilities. We have a day and an evening program to fit your schedule best. This makes it easy to incorporate into your week.  IOP aims to stabilize mood swings, manage symptoms, and improve functioning.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): For a more intensive program, PHP involves 30 hours of program participation each week. Our clients can still return home at the end of the day. PHP closely watches symptoms, establishes routines, and builds a supportive community. Research shows that PHP significantly improves symptom management and overall quality of life for individuals with OCD. 

Sober Living Homes

Sober Living: This program is excellent for those who need to be surrounded by a support system for people with similar conditions. Housing is close to our treatment facilities for convenience. Our sober living homes offer structured accommodations that provide additional accountability through drug tests and curfews. Sober living is often used in conjunction with PHP and IOP.

Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a mental health disorder where individuals have persistent, intrusive, and distressing thoughts, images, or urges. These feelings can lead to discomfort and repetitive behaviors to subdue the pain they feel.

OCD can take many forms, including fear of contamination, fears about safety or harm, thoughts of unwanted sexual behaviors, violent thoughts, and the need for symmetry and constant order.

OCD is a complex and debilitating disorder that can impact an individual’s quality of life. However, with proper treatment from the Summit Wellness Group, it can be managed so our clients can live fulfilling lives.

FAQ About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • What does Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Feel like?
    • Intrusive thoughts are like a plague on the mind. Ruminating on those thoughts until they become compulsions is inevitable. Though some may know and understand that the ideas in their brain are unrealistic and false, they can’t help but feel that something terrible will happen if they don’t perform them. Some people may even experience horrific, vivid, and gruesome thoughts that make them question their subconscious desires. Others have an extreme fear of germs and can’t leave their house for fear of immediate death.
  • What causes Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

    Research has not found any single specific cause of OCD. Evidence shows that a combination of factors (genetics, brain structure/function, and environment) plays a role. People with a family history of OCD or other anxiety disorders are at an increased risk, as are those who experienced trauma and obsessive-compulsive symptoms during adolescence.

    There is also some evidence that compulsions can be learned behaviors. Suppose a child watches their parent wash their hands excessively and bleach every single surface in the house daily. That child is at an increased risk of believing and behaving normally in that case. Learning those behaviors and forming those habits can cause OCD to develop.

  • Why is it essential to seek treatment for OCD?

    Both OCD and addiction involve a type of fixation on an idea or act. Combining the two can lead to worsened compulsions and drug use. Seeking treatment for OCD is critical in effectively addressing OCD and possible co-occurring substance abuse. Treatment highlighting all areas of need is the only way to ensure symptoms are appropriately managed, and relapse does not occur.

What Do Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Symptoms Look Like?

Symptoms of OCD can be split into two categories: obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions consist of repetitive and intrusive thoughts that induce feelings of anxiety. Compulsions are the repetitive behaviors that occur in response to that anxiety.

Some of the symptoms of OCD can include:

  • Intense fear of germs or contamination that leads to excessive and repetitive cleaning
  • Thoughts about sex, religion, or harm that the person knows is wrong and doesn’t necessarily want but can’t stop thinking about
  • Aggressive feelings of harm towards themselves or others
  • Needing everything to be in a specific order
  • Repeatedly checking things, like the stove or locks on doors and windows
  • Compulsive counting
  • An inability to control one’s thoughts, even if one recognizes that they come from OCD
  • Spending upwards of an hour daily focusing only on these thoughts or actions
  • Feeling brief relief from performing compulsions. This relief does not bring pleasure and does not last long. Continuation of compulsions may cause severe forms of distress and may increase anxiety.

What Does OCD Look Like?

The distress caused by obsessive and intrusive thoughts may cause some individuals to self-medicate to escape them. Substance abuse can make the thoughts worse. It can also increase the occurrence of other mental health conditions:

  • Depression: Individuals can develop OCD and depression at the same time. The International OCD Foundation states that 25-50% of individuals with OCD experience depression. Typically, OCD presents first, but for some, OCD and depression onset simultaneously.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): While individuals with GAD tend to spend a significant amount of time worrying about issues that concern them, some don’t participate in everyday actions, such as hand washing, ordering, and rearranging. However, the worrying is both their obsession and compulsion.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD overlaps with OCD. With both, people experience intrusive memories or thoughts, repetitive behaviors and actions to cope with stress and avoidance of settings that trigger intrusive thoughts.
  • Tic Disorders: Often called Tourette’s syndrome, have symptoms that interfere with daily life. These behaviors can be both disruptive and embarrassing for individuals. They can occur unexpectedly. People with tic disorder tend to have a strong urge to a movement or sound that satisfies them. The tics can display in the form of grunts, whistles, and repetition of words. Some people experience repetitive facial movements, including blinking, opening their mouths wide, or scrunching their noses. Children often have twitches in their arms or legs.

Get The Help You Need Today

We want to normalize the discussion about obsessive-compulsive disorder and mental health while reducing the stigma associated with such topics. We encourage you or a loved one struggling with the symptoms of OCD to reach out for treatment options.

If you or someone you know needs support with OCD, we encourage you to visit us at 996 Huff Rd NW, Suite C, Atlanta, GA 30318, by phone at (678) 705-8762 or by email at contactus@thesummitwellnessgroup.com.

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We’d love the opportunity to help you during this overwhelming and difficult process. Our sincere passion is helping people recover so that they can live full, meaningful, and healthy lives.

Call us 24/7 at 770-299-1677 or fill out our contact form and a member of our admissions team will contact you shortly.