Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
In the film, “As Good as it Gets”, Jack Nicholson portrays an individual living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (otherwise known as OCD).
The disorder is characterised by obsessions and compulsions which typically take up significant amounts of time, cause distress and interfere with a person’s every-day activities and function. Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted and persistent thoughts, images and impulses with themes such as contamination and danger to self or others. Compulsions are repetitive ritualistic behaviours that the individual feels unable to resist and provide some relief from anxiety such as washing and checking.
OCD is a very treatable condition with a strong evidence base supporting both talking therapies (psychotherapy) and medication therapy (pharmacotherapy).
The most commonly used psychotherapy is Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), in particular Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). This is essentially a systematic process of “unlearning” the OCD connections that have developed. It involves a very gradual process of being exposed to the obsession and not undertaking the compulsion. Lower level obsessions are tackled first with the use of anxiety management strategies. Recently, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has increasing evidence for its benefits in anxiety and this treatment focuses on practices such as Mindfulness. Medications may also be used in the treatment of OCD with great effect.
Individual psychotherapy and medication management is offered by Epworth Clinic psychiatrists and group programs for OCD and anxiety are also available at Epworth Clinic using ACT or CBT.
The emergency department assesses & treats people with serious injuries as well as those in need of emergency treatment.
Getting an x-ray is not the frightening concept it once might have been. We know so much about all types of scans and the potential hazards and how to avoid them, and technology is rapidly advancing. Some hospitals even boast an EOS now, which allows them to complete scans with 6-9 times less radiation than typical x-rays.
It’s rarely contested that being around nature has benefits for your health. It ensures you’re spending more time outdoors, gives you a sense of connectedness with the world, and has been found to lower stress and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The best news is that even in the city there are many places to get in touch with nature. Here are five of them:
Twenty-five weary participants have just returned home after completing the final section of the Spanish Camino de Compostela.
Walking 115km over six days they were blessed with perfect weather, some authentic historic farmhouse accommodation and knowledgeable guides.
It’s easy for anyone who has travelled overseas and comes home to Australia to realise how fortunate we are when it comes to affordable and readily available fresh, wholesome food.