Steven R. Kafrissen M.D. DLFAPA
Psychiatrist located in Kingston, PA
OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, affects over two percent of the population, causing uncontrollable behaviors that are disruptive to your life. Steven R. Kafrissen, MD, helps patients from in and around Kingston, Pennsylvania who live with OCD with treatments including medication and behavioral therapies. If you’re concerned about OCD or repetitive compulsive behaviors and thoughts, call or schedule a consultation online today.
OCD Q & A
What is OCD?
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a specific form of anxiety disorder in which you develop obsessions that lead to compulsions. Obsessions are irrational and intrusive thoughts and behaviors. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or rituals that provide temporary relief from the anxiety caused by an obsession. Many patients understand that their obsessions and compulsions are irrational, but are unable to change the way they think or act. There are links between your brain’s response to serotonin and OCD.
What are symptoms of OCD?
OCD combines obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. These behaviors are typically irrational and reoccurring. The compulsive behaviors are often disruptive to your normal daily activities or schedule.
Obsessions are characterized by:
- Thoughts about violence or harming yourself or others
- Doubts or fears that you did or didn’t do something like locking your door
- Fears of contamination
- Unpleasant sexual fixations
- Fears of inappropriate social behavior
Compulsions are irrational behaviors that relieve the stress caused by the obsession and may include:
- Checking that you did something multiple times
- Handwashing or compulsive cleaning
- Mental checking
How is OCD diagnosed?
Dr. Kafrissen diagnoses OCD with a series of tests and evaluations. He also orders blood work to ensure that your symptoms aren’t caused by medications, illicit drugs, or other mental illness. In order to make a diagnosis, Dr. Kafrissen needs to see that you display obsessions and/or compulsions and that your thoughts and behaviors are disruptive to your work, relationships, and overall well-being. Typically, patients with OCD spend an hour or more every day engaging in these thoughts and behaviors.
How is OCD treated?
Dr. Kafrissen treats OCD with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. He customizes treatment to address your individual needs to ensure the best possible treatment outcomes.
OCD often responds to a specific form of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs increase the amount of serotonin produced in your brain, which can improve your brain’s ability to send and receive emotional messages.
Behavioral therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Therapy (ERT) can help you learn to recognize your obsessive thoughts and adjust your behavioral responses to them, reducing your compulsive behaviors.
Call or make an appointment online today to talk to Dr. Kafrissen if you’re concerned about OCD.