OCD is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by the presence of obsessions (irrational, repetitive thoughts) and compulsions (ritualistic behaviors used to dispel the anxiety of obsessions).


Here are some more important facts to help increase your knowledge about OCD:

  • People with OCD have no control over what intrusive thoughts will pop into their brain. These thoughts can occur very frequently—often with no rhyme or reason. This is very distressing to the individual, and their compulsions are an effort to “push away” those obsessions and/or prevent them from happening again.
  • OCD causes intrusive/unwanted thoughts that provoke such an extreme amount of anxiety that people feel compelled to engage in excessive compulsions. These behaviors are unwanted, distressing, and can cause emotional or physical pain. This is what differentiates the disorder from somebody who is a stickler about, let’s say, tidiness, and gains pleasure/satisfaction from cleaning and organizing.
  • For some, compulsions might involve behaviors like excessive cleaning or organizing, but there are also many more prevalent subtypes of OCD.


  • Symptoms of OCD can ebb and flow over time in relation to one’s anxiety level.
  • People with OCD understand that their thoughts are irrational, their compulsions are unnecessary, and both cause a disproportionate amount of anxiety. As a result, individuals with OCD often seek treatment to alleviate their distress.


Where do we go from here?

It is important to not feel silenced by your OCD. Although the disorder can feel isolating, it is more common than you would think. Many people who struggle to cope with OCD symptoms often feel too ashamed to speak about them. This is unfortunate, since speaking up about an overwhelming feeling or fear can strip away the power it has over you. You might want to consider scheduling an appointment with Chicago Counseling Center to meet with our therapists who specialize in treating OCD.  Meet our team to learn more!




Before seeing Taylor, I was struggling with OCD behavior, compulsive exercise, and learning how to cope with my past in a healthy way. He was very patient, understanding, and non-judgmental, which allowed me to uncover problems that were essentially being pushed aside. I used to get uncomfortable and self-conscious about discussing certain things that happened when I was younger, but the environment that he creates is very welcoming and I felt at ease when memories came to mind. He also asked me…
Anon, Edgebrook, Chicago