Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

At Relief Mental Health, we have extensive experience treating individuals diagnosed with complex, anxiety-related mental health diagnoses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and treatment-resistant OCD. We understand OCD and treatment-resistant OCD can cause severe impairment and, in some cases, prevent an individual from participating in the basic activities of daily life.

Our approach to OCD treatment combines evidence-based treatments with focused, personalized support to give each patient the best chance of treatment success.

Features of our programming at Relief Mental Health include:

  • Skilled, experienced team of caring and compassionate mental health treatment professionals
  • Innovative approaches for the treatment of OCD including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Medication management directed by licensed providers
  • Therapy and support with our team of committed and compassionate therapists
  • Custom-tailored, individualized treatment plans

Our unique blend of the traditional and the new – psychiatry, medication, and talk therapy combined with 21st century treatments like TMS – gives patients the best possible chance at meeting their treatment goals and successfully managing the disruptive symptoms of OCD.

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What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is widely misunderstood. You may hear people use the term OCD to describe an intense need for order and cleanliness. They may say something like, “I’m kind of OCD about that,” when referring to a small quirk or pet peeve they have.

That’s not what real OCD is.

OCD is a complex diagnosis that can severely interfere with daily life – and casual use of the term minimizes our understanding of the severe disruption it causes in the lives of people diagnosed with clinical OCD.

The National Institute of Mental Health describes OCD as a chronic condition in which a person has uncontrollable reoccurring thoughts and behaviors that they feel the urge to repeat over and over. For example, a person may be driven by an obsession with keeping their home safe. This obsession prevents them from leaving their house without compulsively checking to ensure their doors are locked. They may do this over and over, numerous times, no matter how urgent it is that they leave. The anxiety caused by their obsession and the resulting compulsive behavior may prevent them from attending to important tasks or essential responsibilities in their life.

That’s how OCD can lead to serious problems – and why it’s important to understand the real condition rather than our casual idea of what it might be.

Signs and Symptoms of OCD

People with OCD experience two types of symptoms, which we mention above: obsessions and compulsions. These symptoms can interfere with work, school, personal relationships, and other aspects of everyday life.


Obsessions are thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. These symptoms may be intense and intrusive. The person doesn’t necessarily want to have these thoughts, but is incapable of stopping them. Common obsessions include:

  • Fear of germs: This may manifest as a fear of contact with contamination or infection and may include chemicals, dirt, germs, bodily fluids, or environmental contaminants.
  • Loss of control: Individuals may be plagued with fears of their impulses, such as impulsively causing harm to oneself or others or blurting out insults
  • Causing indirect harm: Individuals may be terrified of being responsible for something terrible happening to others, or of causing indirect harm through careless or accidental actions
  • Perfectionism: Individuals may be afraid of losing or forgetting important information, may be obsessed with evenness or exactness, and may be unable to decide whether to keep or discard items that seem unimportant to others
  • Unwanted taboo thoughts regarding religion, sex, or harm: Individuals may find themselves plagued by forbidden thoughts or images of a sexual, religious, or violent nature. These thoughts may be general or directly involve others.

We describe OCD as a form of anxiety because these thoughts can make it difficult for the individual to relax. They may find that they are in a constant state of preparing or paying attention and there may be fear of dire consequences if they slip up. This anxiety, in some cases, leads to the development of compulsions to ease those feelings of anxiety.


We use the term compulsion to describe repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels the need to perform as a response to obsessive thoughts. Some examples include:

  • Obsessive cleaning, disinfecting, and handwashing
  • Arranging items and furniture in a precise and distinct way
  • Repeatedly checking on things, such as checking to make sure the door is locked, the stove is off, or the lights are off
  • Repeating routine activities or body movements (going in and out of doors, tapping, blinking)
  • Compulsive counting
  • Collecting items (hoarding)

It’s important to remember that not all habits or rituals are compulsions. What sets a person with OCD apart is that they cannot control their thoughts or behavior, even if they recognize the behavior as excessive. They may spend hours a day on these thoughts or behaviors. They don’t take pleasure in the rituals, but perform them in order to relieve the anxiety associated with their obsessions. Sometimes, a person with OCD may not even realize their behavior as atypical or disruptive, which can further complicate both diagnosis and treatment.

Untreated OCD: Long-Term Consequences

When a person with an anxiety diagnosis such as OCD doesn’t get the help they need, their symptoms can have a significant negative impact on virtually all areas of their life.

The effects of untreated ODC may include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Self-isolation
  • Difficulty forming healthy, long-lasting relationships
  • Impaired academic or work performance
  • Problems finding and keeping a job
  • Problems establishing and maintaining financial independence
  • Misuse of alcohol or substances
  • Developing or escalating co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)

That’s why professional treatment and support – especially for treatment-resistant OCD – is essential. The long-term consequences of untreated OCD can be severe. The sooner an individual with treatment-resistant OCD gets effective support, the better their chances at making a full recovery.

How Relief Mental Health Can Help: Treatment for OCD

At Relief Mental Health, comprehensive care for obsessive-compulsive disorder includes treatment with one or more of the treatments below.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is designed to treat depression, OCD, and other common diagnoses safely and effectively. TMS works by emitting gentle magnetic pulses to the area of the brain that regulates mood. These pulses activate specific areas of the brain and decrease symptoms of depression. Patients will sit comfortably in a chair during their 20-minute session and can drive themselves home after treatment.

TMS does not require anesthesia, hospitalization, and has no systemic side effects.

BrainsWay Technology

Relief Mental Health uses BrainsWay technology which has been demonstrated to have exceptional efficacy due to its broad and deep prefrontal stimulation. Unlike medication, the benefits of TMS are durable. This means that patients experience lasting remission of symptoms long after treatment has been completed. Even in cases where medications have not proven effective, TMS can help our patients overcome their symptoms.

TMS does not require…

anesthesia, hospitalization, and has no systemic side effects. During the 20-minute treatment session, patients sit in a comfortable chair and engage with our staff. This extra engagement during treatment helps improve the efficacy of treatment and yield better results compared to other TMS clinics. Patients are awake and alert throughout treatment but typically don’t experience any pain.

IV Ketamine Infusions

Evidence shows that intravenous (IV) infusions with ketamine have positive therapeutic effects.

Research on ketamine shows the following:

  • Ketamine can reduce symptoms associated with complex mental health diagnoses quickly
  • Patients with symptoms experience long-lasting improvement with ketamine treatment.

When a patient chooses IV ketamine treatment, the first step is either a virtual or in-person consultation to determine whether IV ketamine is an appropriate candidate for their diagnosis. New patients to Relief Mental Health can expect their initial consultation to last about an hour, while current Relief Mental Health patients using IV ketamine as a new treatment modality can expect their initial consultation to last about half an hour. After an initial consultation and if the patient is deemed clinically appropriate, an appointment is scheduled for the patient to return at his or her earliest convenience.

Psychiatry & Medication Management

From initial evaluation to medication management to psychotherapy referrals, our psychiatric team puts you on the right path to optimal mental health. On your first visit, we will review symptoms, personal history, treatment options, and life goals to create a plan that keeps you moving forward. At returning visits, we monitor progress as well as respond to any new treatment modalities. We’re here to help you achieve your goals every step of the way.

We see patients with established diagnoses that need continued psychiatric care as well as patients seeking a diagnosis for the first time. Psychiatric medication is not the right fit for everyone but many find success by adding medication to their plan of care. Because many psychiatric medications are long term, having a provider that specializes in this type of prescribing is crucial.

Our team of Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Associates have unique treatment experience. Finding the right provider can be the catalyst to great results. For more information about an individual provider call our intake line and we will match you with the right fit. 

Relief Mental Health offers both in office and telehealth visits to be able to provide flexibility that fits into your life. Our team will develop a treatment plan tailored to your diagnosis and needs.


Discover the tremendous things you’re capable of achieving and create a more fulfilling life with the help of a Relief therapist. Our staff consists of therapists with varied expertise that we carefully match with patients to help them become the best version of themselves. We will do a short intake and match you with the most appropriate therapist based on your goals, geography, availability, and diagnosis.

Therapy is beneficial for a variety of challenging diagnoses including but not limited to depression, anxiety, mood instability, sexuality issues, trauma, self-injury, eating disorders, coping with loss, stress management, and more. Depending on your diagnosis, we use a variety of evidence-based modalities such as CBT, DBT, ERP, ACT.

We offer both telehealth and in person appointments. Schedules, geography, and provider will help determine how we see you.

We’re Here When You Need Relief

For questions or to book an appointment, give us a call or complete our confidential form. A member of our team will reach out within 24 hours.

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