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TREATMENTS FOR OCD

There are two professional ways of treating OCD: Medication and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).

CBT

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

With CBT it is best to have a support system in place, such as a partner, family member, friend, or companion. It will help if this support person sees an OCD professional to understand what your issues mean and how best to support you.

If you are in a relationship where there is no support or it's very negative, then you might want to rethink your company.

If you feel your OCD is affecting your work environment you might consider sitting down with your employer and explaining your situation and how it might affect your work. You might be surprised of this outcome.

For CBT to be effective you must find a therapist who you feel comfortable with, trust, and understands what they are doing and how they do it. If any of these factors are missing, the chances of CBT working well will be greatly hampered or reduced.

Since we know that all OCD issues cause anxiety, you must be prepared to experience anxiety during CBT. Why is this? Why must someone inflict this uncomfortable feeling on purpose?

The answer is simple if OCD causes anxiety, you must be able to identify it, eventually face it head one and learn how to reduce it as much as possible which in turn reduces your OCD.

In time you may be able to recognize, face, and handle this anxiety.

The therapist conducting CBT on you must first get to know you and your OCD in order to best work out his/her plan to help you. This ‘plan’ is very individualized and there is no set of rules from person to person. The therapist must have the knowledge and experience to do CBT.

Can you imagine a case of someone with contamination issues and a therapist were to pour a bowl of dirt over them or ask them to put their hand into a container of mud? This can be devastating.

The first step for some is to just have them touch, with one finger, a table. Doing anything more might cause damage to the point this person will never try CBT again.

This is why it must be stated again that your therapist must understand you AND your OCD issues and possibly more important you must like and trust the person you have decided to work with. If not, change therapists.

Medication

When OCD was first given a name there was very little medication indicated for use with OCD. The primary drug was Anafranil. Today there are many more choices.

Most OCD medications are classified as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), SRIs (Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors), or SNRIs (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors.

The trick is to find the right one(s) at the right dosage for you. If you do not have patience, this will not work. The reason is simple – any drug you try will take approximately three months to properly make its way into your system.

Now the patience begins, the drug you have tried may have to be increased or decreased depending on how it reacts with you, based on side effects and results. You will work closely with your doctor to modify dosages, but you must have patience since this takes time.

You may have to try two or three different drugs, making the same modifications until you find your best choice.  Once piece of advice, do not be afraid to tell your doctor that the dose or even the drug is not working for you.

It is a matter of trial and error. Also remember that not all doctors have the same knowledge of OCD and how it works. You might have to try another doctor. Don’t be afraid to change doctors. You won’t hurt their feelings! There have been many, many doctors who are not up-to-date on OCD and prescribed medications that are not even indicated for OCD. Your body will be the best indication of what to do next – but in the end, it will be worth it.

Every drug, not just OCD medication, can react differently with different people. You may even experience no side effects.

Drug manufacturers must cover themselves so they mention every possible side effect. You definitely will not have all side effects listed. In fact, you may have none. In so many cases any side effects felt may diminish or disappear over time as you and your body get used to your medication.

Try not to dwell on side effects because if you do, your mind, or even your OCD, could take the forefront and the medication will never make you happier.

Other Treatments

Additional OCD Therapies

  • Support Groups
  • Exposure and Response Prevention
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Art Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
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