Is OCD A Progressive Disease & Alternative Treatments For It?

The obsessive-compulsive disorder is a psychological disorder marked by repetitive and excessive unreasonable thoughts or fears that cannot be controlled. These behaviors are obsessive and compulsive that interrupt close relationships, career, routine activities, etc. It tends to develop in women more than men. It develops in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Its causes are not clear. Genetic abnormality, biological alterations, and environmental factors are supposed to induce this disorder. It is a chronic disease that often does not go without treatment. Its symptoms involve unusual repetitive activities such as frequent washing of hands, locking the door, excessive sexual obsessions, etc. this disorder is diagnosed by psychological evaluation of the case by an expert medical professional.

Is OCD A Progressive Disease?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder marked by the experience of repeated and persistent obsessions or compulsions that cannot be avoided. It always interferes with the daily life of the affected person. It is represented by recurrent, excessive or unwarranted thoughts or worries that disturb the person’s normal thinking. Its causes are not clear.(3)

OCD is a lifelong disorder that may exhibit mild to moderate symptoms or sometimes severe. It is often time-consuming that renders disabling feelings. If it is left untreated, it gradually progresses to mental ailments such as depression, anxiety, panic disorders, etc. Thus, it is a chronic and progressive disease.(1)

Alternative Treatments For OCD

St. John’s Wort- St. John’s Wort is one of the most common herbal remedies recommended for anxiety. It acts as a natural antidepressant that targets the serotonin system in the brain, similar to Paxil (paroxetine) and Anafranil (clomipramine). In various clinical studies, it is found useful in the treatment of OCD. It could be used as an alternative therapy for managing OCD symptoms.(2)

Supplementing Behavior Therapy With D-cycloserine-Psychotherapeutic techniques such as exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP) can be used in treating symptoms of OCD. However, they are not useful for every patient of OCD. But, this treatment has the challenging nature and expansive. It is when supplemented with medicine like D-cycloserine, it has shown better results.(2)

Deep Brain Stimulation For OCD- In the innovation of brain imaging technologies, like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has revolutionized the study of the inner workings of the brain. These studies have established relations with the biological and anatomical basis of OCD. These studies have also suggested that treatments targeting specific circuits in the brain can be useful in reducing OCD symptoms. It is helpful in those people who suffer from severe symptoms of OCD and do not improve with traditional treatment. Deep brain stimulation can emerge out as an effective alternative treatment.(2)

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS, is a non-invasive procedure that can be an alternative treatment to reduce OCD symptoms. In this procedure, a small device is placed directly on the skull. It is a sealed device that contains a coil of wire to carry electricity. The flow of electricity through the device can either activate or deactivate the brain cells, the neuron that can reduce symptoms of OCD.(2)

Exercise And Physical Activities- many research studies reveal that physical activity helps to reduce symptoms of mental disorders. It is also stated that aerobic exercise can be useful to improve mild to moderate symptoms of depression. It may also reduce stress and anxiety. Recently, studies are going on to confirm that aerobic exercise can assist in reducing the severe symptoms of OCD.

Conclusion

OCD is a progressive disease if not treated in time as it would lead to mental illness such as depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, etc. Its alternative treatments options involve the use of herbal remedies like St. John’s Wort, behavioral therapy with supplement D-cycloserine, deep brain stimulation therapy, and others discussed above.

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