The OC Anxiety Center (formerly, Anxiety Research Center) is primarily known for the treatment of anxiety disorders, and in particular OCD, panic, and specific phobias. While treatment for other anxiety disorders fall well within the realm of OCAC, a number of similarly treated issues are also addressed. Trichotillomania (hair pulling), BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder, the belief that one part of the body is very odd and embarrassing) and Misophonia (inability to tolerate specific sounds) also are treated at OCAC with the same level of care that anxiety disorders are treated.
Research indicates treatment for all of these disorders are similar to those for anxiety disorders, regardless of their genesis. Typically all three involve psychoeducation, cognitive challenging, and the primary tool of exposure and response prevention.
Trichotillomania and Misophonia treatment focus on the concept of frustration tolerance. The idea is for the individual to learn how to better withstand the urge to pull hair to relieve the tension or leave any situation because of an inability to tolerate a particular sound. Trichotillomania treatment involves cognitive recognition of when and where one pulls (intentional or unintentional, alone or with others, in certain places, engaged in specific tasks, time of day), becoming more aware of when one pulls, and then learning both how to engage in alternate behaviors and to tolerate the anxiety related with not pulling. Similarly, those with misophonia learn how to control the negative emotions related with difficult noises in small, gradated steps. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is treated most similarly to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, with individuals learning how to identify irrational cognitive statements they make regarding their bodies, followed by exposure and response prevention (e.g., public appearances without makeup to cover a ‘disfigured’ feature).
While no one treatment plan is exactly the same as the other, any treatment of these disorders should focus on psychoeducation, cognitive challenging, and most importantly, exposure and response prevention. It is also critical the treatment be designed to fit each individual’s need, as one person’s pulling of head hair (from how it is accomplished to why it is done) may be significantly different than another’s pulling pubic hair. At the OC Anxiety Center, we strive to ensure each individual’s needs are specifically addressed with the highest level of care we can provide.