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Anxiety and OCD


If you tend to worry a lot, even when there’s no reason, you may have anxiety disorder. It may be something you are so used to that you may think it’s just “how you are.” Common worries include health, money, family, or work. While everyone worries about these things once in a while, if you always expect the worst, it can get in the way of living a normal life. Though researchers are still investigating the causes of anxiety, they have identified the areas of the brain responsible for fear and anxiety and are using proven studies to increase knowledge in this field in an effort to create improved treatments for anxiety and related disorders.

Common treatments for anxiety disorders include individual and group therapy, and medications as appropriate. Other treatments may include TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) and ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) both of which have been found to have profound effects on individuals with depression or anxiety, especially for those who have not found relief in symptoms through other treatment methods.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common anxiety disorder. It causes unreasonable thoughts, fears, or worries. A person with OCD tries to manage these thoughts through rituals. Frequent disturbing thoughts or images are called obsessions. They are irrational and can cause severe anxiety. Reasoning doesn’t help control the thoughts. Rituals or compulsions are actions that help stop or ease the obsessive thoughts. OCD occurs in children, adolescents, and adults, and with proper treatment, symptoms can be managed. While neuroscientists are investigating the areas of the brain thought to be responsible for OCD, clinician-researchers are also conducting studies to constantly improve OCD treatments such as exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).


You may find these organizations useful for more information on anxiety and OCD.

Anxiety Disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

These articles on OCD and anxiety may also be useful.

Treatment at McLean

McLean Hospital offers an array of clinical programs that treat anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder in children and adults.


The Pavilion
A comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic program for adults with complex or treatment-resistant psychiatric conditions in a range of diagnoses.

OCD Institute (OCDI)
Intensive treatment for adults ages 16 and older who are living with severe or treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Adult Inpatient Services
With two locations in Massachusetts, these programs focus on intensive crisis stabilization for patients with mood, anxiety, and/or psychotic disorders.

Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program
A comprehensive, multi-track treatment program serving as a step-down from or as an alternative to inpatient care.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Service
An outpatient service for people 16 and older with depression and anxiety who have not responded to medication or other forms of treatment.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Service
An outpatient treatment program using magnetic stimulation to help control mood in adults with major depression.

McLean SouthEast Adult Psychiatric Partial Hospital Program
Structured day program treatment in Middleborough, Massachusetts, focusing on mood and anxiety disorders.

Children and Adolescents

Intensive programs for adolescents ages 13 to 20 who require treatment for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program
Stabilization and treatment for children and adolescents ages 3 to 19 who are in psychiatric crisis.

Child and Adolescent OCD Institute
A treatment program for children and adolescents ages 10 to 18 with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), specific phobias, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders.

McLean Anxiety Mastery Program
A comprehensive outpatient program for children and adolescents ages 9 to 18 with social anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, separation anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment (ART) Program
Short-term treatment for adolescents ages 13 to 19 with emotional and behavioral difficulties including those with substance use disorders.