How Long Does OCD Last & Ways to Overcome it?

OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which is a common but lesser known anxiety disorder. This condition is characterized by obsessions and compulsions like fears, restraining thoughts as well as repetitive behaviors that might appear unreasonable to others. The obsessions and compulsions continue to distress the person in their lifestyle and daily chores. Though OCD has a symptomatic behavior due to both obsessions and compulsions, but there may be cases where people suffer only from either obsessions or compulsions. In most scenarios, the suffering individuals do not realize that they are suffering from OCD.

The most common examples of OCD are germ phobia, constant double checking, properly organizing things, accumulation of loads of stuffs and many more.

How Long Does OCD Last?

How Long Does OCD Last?

OCD is a life-long disorder which has no cure and the treatments only deal with easing the anxiety; the relapse of the condition in quite common. Thus, one can easily assume that the duration of OCD is not fixed. How long does OCD last is dependent entirely on the will power and the coping ability of the individual. The faster a person seeks help, the better and effective the treatment is.

It needs to be kept in mind that OCD is a chronic condition, thus, the individuals need to engage in activities that prevents the relapse of the condition. Also, they should not stop the treatment in between, because putting off the treatment induces more negative thoughts and anxiety, which tend to make the person feel even worse than before. Statistics suggest that hardly thirty percent of the ailing population is able to recover completely from OCD and lead an anxiety free life.

What are the Challenges Faced When Trying to Recover from OCD?

The challenges that patients often face when trying to cope with OCD are:

  • Lack of Strong Determination: For many patients having strong determination and utmost dedication is quite tough. Thus, this road block needs time to deal with the doubts, concerns, disappointments and worries. The process requires patience and faith.
  • Pessimism: When going forth to deal with the disorder, patients can have several perceptions and worries, which can be unreasonable. This raises concerns in the mind of the patient and may give him cold feet and the patient may thus feel pessimistic about the treatment process.
  • Ritualization of Anxiety in OCD: The constant obsessive thoughts force the person to put their thoughts into actions and get rid of the distress that is caused due to these thoughts. This can be another issue contributing towards a delay in overcoming the condition.
  • Denial of the Mental State: Most individuals with OCD fail to accept that they suffer from a mental condition which requires therapy. This ongoing denial makes them agree to their obsessions and grip of OCD becomes even tighter and difficult to be treated.

What are the Ways to Overcome OCD?

There are various measures through which one can overcome OCD or take it under control. Some such measures are:

  • Seeking Help from Experts: This is perhaps the first step towards overcoming OCD. Once the person understand that s/he is suffering from a problem, they must seek help from mental health experts like Psychologists and Psychiatrists.
  • Expect and Accept the Unexpected: Obsessive thoughts are a part and parcel of OCD, so the individuals should prepare for all sorts of obsessions that attack the thoughts. These thoughts can be either new or old, but the key is to accept these and not get agitated by them.
  • Accepting Oneself on OCD: Individuals must accept who they are and likewise trust their instincts and reactions. OCD can induce a lot of negativity and make situations worse, but individuals should take the best out of it and take over the anxiety.
  • Taking Responsibility of Self When Dealing with OCD: When in anxiety, individuals should choose to rely on self and try to take control of the situation.
  • Patience: In case of OCD, impatience is a sign of failure. Individuals should understand that each has his own pace, so comparison with others recovery is not going to do any good. The tenure for recovery from OCD can vary among individuals.
  • Relaxation: The distressing thoughts are more than enough to take a toll on the mind and stressing about OCD is just an added burden. The best way to overcome such a situation is to relax the mind by doing exercising, meditation, etc.
  • Rewarding Self When the Goal is Achieved: When in therapy, there are milestones to be achieved for complete success. Thus the bigger goal must be broken down into smaller ones. Individuals should cherish when they reach their smaller goals, their efforts and progress.


The fact that one is suffering from OCD itself is very distressing; hence, they need to give themselves the time that is required to overcome the condition. The support from the family and friends is also an important factor in overcoming OCD.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 5, 2017

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