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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question

Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10628
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I think I have OCD........how can I tell and what can I do

This answer was rated:

I think I have OCD........how can I tell and what can I do about it?

DoctorZ :

Hello again, I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

So Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) does have different severity levels and for some it can be very mild and for others it can be very severe.

Customer:

hi..........sorry I have so many questions

Customer:

ok

DoctorZ :

It is okay, I am here to help you. Here are a list of the symptoms for OCD

Customer:

I'm probably middle of the spectrum

DoctorZ :

To get properly evaluated you would want to see a mental health professional, like your therapist or a psychiatrist

Customer:

ok

DoctorZ :

So your therapist can provide you with a variety of behavioral techniques to help you overcome OCD, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Customer:

sounds good

DoctorZ :

You can also see a psychiatrist and be prescribed medications as well

Customer:

really? I didn't know meds could help

Customer:

that's good to know

DoctorZ :

Yes some basic medications to start that could help are the SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft, Lexapro, Luvox, or Paxil

Customer:

I'll look into them, thanks

DoctorZ :

May I ask, why do you think that you may have OCD?

Customer:

oh boy.........well, I have had a strange obsession for years

Customer:

and it's not getting any better or going away

DoctorZ :

Okay, well I do want to say that because you have suffered a trauma some obsessional thoughts could be related to PTSD and not necessarily OCD

Customer:

I have an obsession with a...............certain body part

Customer:

oh, I didnt' realize that

DoctorZ :

Yeah, and if it is that body part that causes you trauma it most likely is related to PTSD then

DoctorZ :

The medications can still help though and so can your therapist

Customer:

ok. that's good to know

DoctorZ :

Is there anything else you need help with?

Customer:

.....................not sure.....my brain is going nuts right now and I'm not sure how to deal with it..........have thought about checking myself into a hospital, but haven't decided for sure

DoctorZ :

Okay, well why dont you describe what you are experiencing right now?

Customer:

lots of anxiety........I feel like I want to jump out of my skin.......these feelings are making me want to cut............

Customer:

fear

Customer:

just a whole mess of emotions that I can't deal with

Customer:

irrational thoughts and urges

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you are feeling this way, I can imagine how distressing this is for you. I think because you have you are having feelings to cut or your alter has these feelings, then checking into a hospital could be a good idea.

DoctorZ :

It sounds like you may need a medication adjustment to help with this anxiety and to help regulate your emotions

Customer:

they won't do a physical exam on me, will they?

DoctorZ :

No, for mental health reasons they will not do a medical exam

Customer:

i can't stand the idea of being touched right now

DoctorZ :

No the only medical exam they will do is probably take your weight, blood pressure, and temperature.

Customer:

oh, ok. I think I can handle that

Customer:

alright.........well, as always, thanks for being willing to chat................

DoctorZ :

I am always willing to help out. But you forgot to rate me on our last chat session, so I would like to remind you do that because if you do not rate, the website may not allow you to post future questions

DoctorZ :

Also do not forget to bring your journal with you if you want to check yourself into a hospital

Customer:

so sorry about that......I'll rate you know for both

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I decided not to go to the hospital........I'm working on controlling my emotions at home. While the urge to self-harm is still there, I haven't acted on it since Wednesday. As long as I don't think much, I feel I can stay safe................but that's much easier said than done. Anyway, just thought I'd check in today since I saw you were online

That is good, I am glad that you are checking in. I am so sorry that you are feeling the need to self-harm, try to journal a bit and talk to your alters to help them realize that they do not need to self-harm to get your attention. Also try that Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercises I mentioned earlier as well to help. So far the goal here is to reduce your stress, so that an alter does not take over and try to use self-harm on you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks. I'll be sure and try your suggestions

Okay, let me know if you have any issues, concerns, or questions. I will be sure to answer you as fast as I can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks

Anytime, I am always here to help
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do actually have a question..........................you said that these "ocd-like" thoughts could just be related to the trauma I've experienced? could one alter potentially have OCD where the others do not? I'm not sure if this is the case, but it might be. the obsessive thoughts have plagued me for years and drive me crazy. So far, no therapist has been able to help me successfully reduce the obsessive thoughts or the anxiety created by them.

It is possible that one alter may have OCD. Also though it is not uncommon for individuals with PTSD to develop OCD or OCD-like behavior, and that is why I think your OCD behavior and thoughts were related to your trauma because it also does involve that specific part of your body that experienced the trauma, so if we successfully treat the PTSD then hopefully the OCD thoughts and behavior will diminish as well.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok. so what does "successfully treating the PTSD" look like? I've been in therapy for years with no resolution

Well successfully treating the PTSD will have a better management of your symptoms or complete resolution of your symptoms. Your alters also started because of the trauma as dissociation and Dissociative Identity Disorder is often a response to trauma as well, so when you successfully treat the PTSD then your alters will have less control or may go away completely. It is possible that you are not receiving the right treatment in terms of medication or therapy to help you with your mental health issues, although this does take time as these are tough disorders to treat.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok..........is there medication for DID? I've never heard of any before. And, what would you say is the best treatment for my issues? I've tried almost everything I can think of.

There are a number of medications for DID, like anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics (e.g. chlorpromazine). While there is not specific medication for DID, there are a variety of medications that can be used to help control the alters better. The best form of treatment for your issues is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I'll look into the meds. As well, I'll research the two therapy methods you suggest. I've been in CBT for a while, but haven't ever done DBT.

DBT can help manage your emotions better than CBT, but both are very similar. I think a change in medications may help you control your symptoms better. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns, I am happy to help
For DBT I wanted to recommend these two books and also this website as well for you.

http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Trauma-PT SD-Workbook-Integrating/dp/1608822869/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377975243&sr=8-1&keywords=cbt+ptsd

http://www.amazon.com/Dialectical-Behavior-Therapy-Workbook-Anxiety/dp/1572249544/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1377975254&sr=8-2&keywords=dbt+ptsd

http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/

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