Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialist

Agdel Hernandez Colon, MD

Psychiatrist located in Downtown Manhattan, New York, NY

When you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may know your thoughts and behaviors don’t make sense, but you still won’t be able to control them — and that’s when it’s essential to get help to overcome the problem. Dr. Agdel Hernandez Colon encourages you to talk with him at the first sign of symptoms. He has extensive experience helping patients overcome their obsessions and compulsions before they become severe enough to interfere with life. To schedule an appointment, call the office in New York City’s Financial District or book an appointment online.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What is an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

When you have OCD, you experience repetitive and unwanted thoughts and feelings -- which are obsessions. Obsessions are followed by an urge to take action -- which is the compulsion. Compulsive behaviors are particular actions intended to relieve the anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts.

Obsessions and compulsions are both uncontrollable. If you manage to ignore the obsession, the thoughts come back again. If you can stop yourself from performing the compulsive behavior, your anxiety becomes intolerable. In the end, you develop an unstoppable cycle of thoughts and actions.

Your symptoms may come and go, get better over time, or worse. You may know that your thoughts and behaviors don’t make sense, but you’re still not able to stop them. For some patients, this translates into many hours spent every day performing their behavior, even to the point of quitting their jobs.

What types of obsessions often occur when you have OCD?

Obsessions interrupt your thoughts when you’re trying to focus on other things. They often take the form of common themes such as:

  • Fear of germs
  • Needing things around you to be orderly or symmetrical
  • Harming yourself or others
  • Unpleasant and unwanted sexual images
  • Fear of saying something inappropriate
  • Doubting you put the garage door down or turned off the oven

What types of compulsions commonly affect people with OCD?

The intrusive and unwanted obsessions cause a high level of anxiety, so you develop compulsions to relieve that anxiety. People with OCD often follow precise rules that don’t make sense, performing compulsions such as:

  • Following a strict routine
  • Demanding constant reassurance
  • Repeatedly washing and cleaning, such as frequent hand washing
  • Counting over and over to be sure you counted properly
  • Repeatedly checking to be sure the garage door is down or the oven is off
  • Maintaining order by constantly rearranging items or putting them in a certain order

Although everyone sometimes wonders if they remembered to turn off the oven, they go back once to check, then move on to the next activity. If you have OCD, you can be positive the oven is off, yet you’ll be compelled to go back and check many times.

How is obsessive-compulsive disorder treated?

In most cases, patients with OCD get optimal results with treatment that combines medication and psychotherapy. Medications reduce your symptoms, while psychotherapy helps you find ways to deal with the anxiety and to not perform compulsive behaviors.

Dr. Hernandez Colon offers comprehensive treatment, so don’t hesitate to call to get help with OCD, or book an appointment online.