April 18, 2024
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Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

When I was a youngster we had a neighbor who had some interesting behaviors. This was in the days before electronic locks. When our neighbor arrived home, he would check his car door to see if it was locked and then would walk around his car checking each door making sure it was also secured. At this point one would have expected him to then walk into his home. But instead, he would walk around his car six more times and confirm that each door was locked! Only then did he feel comfortable entering his home. This behavior was repeated each time he got home from work.

The American Psychiatric Association has described Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as consisting of both unwanted obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors or “mental actions” intended to reduce anxiety induced by obsessive thoughts. Typical presentations may include excessive concerns with symmetry, counting, cleanliness and cleaning the environment to avoid contamination. Often the person fears that harm will come to himself or herself, or to others, if the action is not completed.

Over the years patients with this disorder have come to me for treatment because symptoms were causing distress. This disorder responds well to a combination of therapy and medication. My goal in treating this illness is to prescribe the lowest dose of medication that will be effective. Usually, the patient can then be weaned off the medication while continuing to work with their therapist as long as necessary until the symptoms have either resolved or are at least under control. The prognosis is generally very good providing the patient is motivated to remain in treatment as long as necessary.


Dr. Kleinmann’s office is located at 145 Washington Street, Morristown, New Jersey. To reach Dr. Kleinmann, call 973-898-0505 or email [email protected].

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