Addiction Professional - NAADAC

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

5 CE credit hours training
Robert A. Yourell
Target audience and instructional level of this course: foundational

There is no known conflict of interest or commercial support related to this CE program.

Course Description

Obsessions are intrusive, irrational thoughts -- unwanted ideas or impulses that repeatedly well up in a person's mind. Again and again, the person experiences disturbing thoughts, such as "My hands must be contaminated; I must wash them"; "I may have left the gas stove on"; "I am going to injure my child." On one level, the sufferer knows these obsessive thoughts are irrational. But on another level, he or she fears these thoughts might be true. Trying to avoid such thoughts creates great anxiety.

Compulsions are repetitive rituals such as hand washing, counting, checking, hoarding, or arranging. An individual repeats these actions, perhaps feeling momentary relief, but without feeling satisfaction or a sense of completion. People with OCD feel they must perform these compulsive rituals or something bad will happen.

Most people at one time or another experience obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors. Obsessive-compulsive disorder occurs when an individual experiences obsessions and compulsions for more than an hour each day, in a way that interferes with his or her life.
Bob saw his psychiatrist for treatment of depression for six months before he finally had the courage to bring up his other 'secret' problem. Since childhood he had a compulsion to count things. He had to count the letters in words and in people's names. If the letters added up to any number except 9 he felt a sense of release and could stop counting. He knew it was silly but nevertheless he had a fear that if he did not do this something bad could happen to his mom or dad. He seemed unable to stop doing this. He did poorly in school because he was distracted by his secret compulsion to count letters when he should have been paying attention to the teacher's lessons. He was later bothered as a teenager by upsetting sacrilegious mental images when he was in church. Having these sacrilegious images made him feel that he lost his soul for eternity.

In addition to these two problems, he was having trouble driving. When he felt a bump as his tire rolled over a

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