OCD Therapy in Madison, WI

Obsessive–compulsive disorder is a serious condition causing people to have  obsessions (persistent, intrusive, distressing thoughts) and compulsions (behaviors that feel obligatory and are repeated, over and over). This most commonly translates into certain thoughts circling endlessly, and the performance of particular routines (called “rituals") to reduce anxiety, such as the need to check things repeatedly.  Unwanted thoughts often have to do with warding off danger that might come to loved ones, or forbidden thoughts involving sex, religion, and harm. Although people with OCD often know their thoughts and rituals are irrational, they find it excruciatingly difficult to stop them. Common rituals include counting, hand washing, arranging or ordering things or touching/tapping, and ceaseless cleaning. Rituals can become very time consuming and distressing, interfering with life in significant ways, and bringing increased risk of depression. OCD is considered an anxiety disorder, and comes with an increased risk of suicide. It causes great distress and unhappiness.

OCD is not uncommon, affecting about 2-3% of people. The cause is unknown, but there are associations with genetics and early childhood trauma. Generally, the most effective treatment includes medication and psychotherapy. Skillful use of CBT and MBCT have been shown to be particularly effective. Our experienced Madison therapists offer you these services and welcome you to Westside to get the help you need to free yourself of this persistent and painful way of being.