I heard that someone who has “pure obsessions” cannot be treated. Is that true?

No. Many people do not understand that an obsession is in fact, a form of a mental compulsion. Therefore, exposure therapy is very useful in attacking obsessional thoughts, both through imaginal and in vivo exposure exercises.

Once I am done with therapy will my symptoms come back?

Relapse prevention is an integral part of our therapy therefore every effort is made to reduce the risk for relapse. Our goal in therapy is to teach individuals how to apply Exposure and Ritual Prevention Therapy so that should symptoms surface, they will know what to do to address them.

I have been suffering from anxiety symptoms for over 10 years. Will it take that long for me to get better?

No. Once you enter into ERP therapy, you will systematically become desensitized to your fears. We find the more time people spend practicing exposure therapy/homework, the more quickly they will see a reduction in symptoms.

Can my anxiety make me crazy?

This is a very common fear. So far, there are no cases reported of anyone going crazy as a result of their anxiety.

I’m scared to be around others who have OCD because I’m afraid that I will take on their fears and my anxiety will get worse. Does that happen?

As to date, we have never seen this happen. Most people who come into our treatment program have their own individual fears and are not transferred or taken on by others.

Can I come into treatment for my anxiety if I also suffer from depression?

Yes. Many people we see are depressed as a result of their anxiety. Typically, as we treat the anxiety and these symptoms begin to lift, so do the symptoms of depression.

Do children or adolescents who have OCD respond to exposure and ritual prevention therapy?

Yes and amazingly well! Children as young as five are able to grasp the principles and if they are receptive to treatment, typically move through the treatment process quite quickly.

Is there anything I did to create my OCD?

No. Research supports that anxiety associated with OCD (and other clinical anxiety conditions) is a result of a chemical imbalance and/or environmental factors which causes people to be afraid or fearful of things that they would not be afraid of otherwise.

Can medication take away my anxiety?

Medication, especially SSRI’s have shown to significantly reduce anxiety. Results suggest that a combination of medications and behavioral therapy produces the highest positive treatment outcome.

Do people with OCD ever act out their unwanted thoughts? For example, if they have violent thoughts of harming others, will they actually do it?

There is no case history where anyone diagnosed with OCD has acted out on their fears. This includes those with both unwanted violent or sexual thoughts.