Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), often involves physical or mental compulsions that can take effect in all aspects of daily life. The most talked-about forms of OCD involve actions such as washing multiple times, knocking on the door a specific number of times, or saying someone’s name multiple times. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, OCD is a common, chronic, long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that the person feels an urge to repeat, over and over. There are several types of OCD, and each have their own unique set of symptoms: checking, contamination, hoarding, and rumination are just a few types. Thankfully, there are several effective strategies to help someone manage their OCD symptoms.
The International OCD Foundation has noted cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a highly effective therapy technique. This form of therapy helps a person to change their unhealthy, negative thought patterns into more positive, productive ones. There are many CBT exercises, that can be done at home, but a licensed therapist can ensure that you are able to work one-on-one and to answer any questions that you may have. Calm Clinic states that there are three main components to CBT – exposure therapy, cognitive restructuring and relaxation training.
Help Guide claims that exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP) helps by providing repeated exposure to the source of a person’s obsession. When this happens, the person is asked to refrain from their usual response behaviors that they would normally perform to reduce their anxiety. For example, for a person who is obsessed with contamination and washes their hands multiple times, the person may be asked to touch a public restroom’s door handle and then refrain from washing their hands afterwards. This form of therapy is used to “retrain” the brain, ultimately reducing some of those OCD symptoms.
The Nationally Library of Medicine (NLM) lists several medications that can be beneficial for medical-assisted OCD therapy: sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), fluoxetine (Prozac), and Citalopram (Celexa). These medications serve as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are anti-depressants. While not effective for all, some medications help people calm their mind while they are working in psychotherapy. To determine the best course of treatment for you, speak with a doctor as each person has unique needs.
If you have OCD and feel that your symptoms are unmanageable, speak with someone from New Vista Behavioral Health today. We are a national family of treatment centers offering distinct and effective treatment for addiction and mental illness. We believe in wellness, restoration, and vitality – if you don’t quit, we won’t quit on you. Call us today at 855-398-7959 to receive a consultation.