What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious mental health problem that causes people to have symptoms known as ‘obsessions’ and ‘compulsions’. Obsessions are irrational and persistent beliefs that we hold even if we have evidence that contradicts them. Compulsions are mental or physical rituals that people feel they need to perform. Some people with OCD may only have one type of symptom, either obsessions or compulsions, whereas others can struggle with both.
Our psychiatrists and psychologists in Dubai and Abu Dhabi understand that having obsessions and compulsions can be distressing and can have a negative impact on lots of different areas of your life.
You don’t have to suffer with OCD – take the first step towards recovery today
Seeking help for OCD can be daunting, but it’s the most important thing you can do to start your road to recovery.
Our specialists at both of our Wellbeing Centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can deliver expert OCD treatment, helping you overcome your obsessions and compulsions, and take steps towards wellbeing. OCD treatment focuses on helping you to identify the underlying triggers for your obsessive thoughts and behaviours, reduce your symptoms, and get your life back on track.
Outpatient OCD treatment in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Outpatient OCD treatment at our Priory Wellbeing Centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi ensures:
- Flexible and convenient consulting hours, which fit in around your work and other commitments
- Fast access to high quality therapy
- Complete confidentiality and discretion
- Reassurance that you are receiving treatment from highly skilled experts
There are a number of different methods we use to treat OCD at Priory. You may go through a combination of the following:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – CBT is widely used to treat OCD. This technique helps you to challenge the irrational thought patterns associated with OCD and respond to situations in healthier ways. This can help to reduce your obsessions and compulsions
- Medication – antidepressant medication, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can be used alongside CBT to treat OCD. This can act as another barrier against your OCD symptoms
- 1:1 therapy for OCD – 1:1 therapy for OCD takes place on an individual basis between you and an expert therapist. This type of therapy allows you to receive a comprehensive and tailored treatment experience
- Group therapy for OCD – group therapy takes place with a wider group of patients, who are all going through similar issues to you or who also have OCD. This therapy allows you to share your experiences and receive support from others
- Family therapy for OCD – OCD doesn’t just affect you; it can also have a negative effect on your family or loved ones. Family therapy takes place with you and those who are closest to you. It allows you to have an open conversation with your loved ones and decide on ways you can support each other moving forwards
What are the signs and symptoms of OCD?
OCD causes you to experience obsessions, compulsions or both. There are a number of common obsessions and compulsions that someone with OCD may experience.
Examples of OCD obsessions include:
- Constantly worrying that you forgot to turn off an appliance or lock a door
- Overwhelming fear of germs or contamination
- Irrational beliefs that you might harm another person
- Intrusive sexual thoughts
- Constantly questioning your sexuality
Examples of OCD compulsions include:
- Washing your hands or bathing multiple times each day, regardless of whether you need to
- Avoiding objects that you think may be contaminated or only touching certain objects with a tissue
- Counting or repeating certain words/phrases over and over again, either out loud or in your head
- Rearranging objects so these are symmetrical or lined up in a certain way
- Repeating certain rituals a set number of times or for a certain amount of time e.g. turning a light switch on and off a certain number of times before you leave a room
OCD obsessions and compulsions can be very scary and confusing and can also take up a lot of your time.
Other OCD symptoms include:
- Feeling angry and frustrated
- Sleep problems, including insomnia
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling as though your OCD has taken over your life
- Reduced school or work performance as you’re constantly being distracted by your obsessions and compulsions
- Increased or reduced appetite, which means you may gain or lose weight
- Withdrawing from friends, family and social situations – this can lead to you becoming isolated
- Struggling to manage in your day-to-day life
What causes OCD?
Like with lots of mental health conditions, research shows there are a number of factors which may make it more likely you’ll develop OCD. These include:
- Genetics – having a close family member who struggles with OCD. This might be down to hereditary factors or because you’ve been exposed to obsessions and compulsions from an early age
- Gender – males are more likely to have OCD obsessions whereas females are more likely to have OCD compulsions. Males are also more likely to experience OCD symptoms at an earlier age than females
- Life events – including stressful or traumatic events during childhood, especially sexual/physical abuse or bullying. OCD can also develop after a significant life event such as having a baby or going through a bereavement
- Existing mental health issues - people who struggle with existing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, may be more at risk for developing OCD
- Personality – certain personality traits such as being a perfectionist or having a strong sense of responsibility for other people, can also make it more likely you’ll go on to develop OCD
Self-help tips for managing your OCD
If you think you have OCD, it’s so important that you seek professional help from qualified psychiatrists and psychologists in order to get back on track. However, there are some practical things you can do yourself to try and reduce your OCD symptoms. These include:
- Accept you have a problem and speak to someone you trust, like a friend or relative, who may be able to support you in your daily life. Remember, it’s often the case that a problem shared is a problem halved
- Understand that your obsessions and compulsions don’t define you as a person – they’re simply symptoms of a mental health issue
- Remember you’re not alone - OCD is a common condition and lots of people develop OCD traits at some point in their lives
- Learn as much as you can about OCD and the symptoms of OCD. There’s lots of information online about it, as well as OCD support groups. By learning more about OCD, you’ll be able to understand your symptoms a bit better and recognise when you’re going through a particularly tough time
- Be patient with your condition and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re experiencing obsessions and compulsions, recognise them for what they are and be aware they’ll lessen over time
- Try to eat healthily, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. Looking after yourself physically can help you feel better mentally
Expert help for OCD in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Priory have been treating OCD in the UAE since 2017, at our specialist clinic in Dubai, We have recently opened a second Wellbeing Centre in Abu Dhabi. We now offer expert treatment for OCD in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, at the following locations:
OCD Treatment in Dubai
Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai
Dubai Healthcare City
Al Razi Building 64
Block F, Ground Floor
Out Metha Road
OCD Treatment in Abu Dhabi
Priory Wellbeing Centre Abu Dhabi (opening soon)
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street
United Arab Emirates
OCD can be debilitating and can reduce your quality of life. At Priory, our OCD psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists will support you to understand and overcome your OCD, helping you get back on track. Call today to take the first steps towards recovery.
For further information call today on: (+971) 4 245 3800 or submit an enquiry form in confidence. We will provide you with details on all our treatments and offer help on how to manage your mental health at a time that suits you.