The treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD may not promise a complete cure for the ailment, but it surely brings down the occurrence of the symptoms that interfere with your daily lives. While there are some people who find the symptoms under control after sometime, there are others who require medication throughout their life.

Treatment For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD

Psychotherapy and medications are the two chief methods for treating OCD. The treatment, which involves both of these, is often found to be effective most of the times.

  1. Psychotherapy
  2. Medications

Psychotherapy for Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD

The most effective treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD is CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) which falls under the category of psychotherapy.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD

Cognitive Behavior Therapy, also known as CBT, is an efficient treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD. Medicine or CBT has proven to be effective for most people. In People who are prone to use this form of treatment, the symptoms have been reduced by 60% to 80%. The treatment will only be effective if the patient participates in the follow-ups regularly. However, there are some cases seen where the patients refuse to get treatment via CBT. Out of the available treatments for CBT, Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP is the most effective one.

ERP Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD

What is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)?

CBT involves different kinds of therapies that will effectively cure the disorder. However, "Exposure and Response Prevention" (ERP) which is a part of CBT is by far the most effective treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD.

The term "Exposure "in ERP indulges in understanding the thoughts, objects, situations and images that constantly disturb a person's mind and results in anxiety.

The "Response Prevention "in ERP helps a person in making specific choices that will let him manage his or her emotions when they are confronting such anxious situations.

However, many people do not accept this strategy and often people refrain from undergoing the treatments. There are cases observed where a patient tries to confront his or her fears and notice that their fears have reached the limit of the sky. In the treatment of ERP, the patient has to promise to give his complete time for getting relief. In fact, if the person stays completely committed to the treatment, he or she might also get to witness better and faster relief. Habituation to a certain method also tends to reduce the anxiety disorders.

How Does Exposure and Response Prevention Work in Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD:

The chills that a body experience while being subjective to anxiety often lets a person feel that he or she is endangered. This is the most drastic part of the disorder that is witnessed by most people.

A person who is under the pressure of anxiety, even crossing a street and looking at a speeding truck might feel threatened. The anxiety disorder often creates a thought process in the brain where a person is bound to protect himself from most situations. The impulsive behavior will be mostly to save oneself from the life threatening situations. Unfortunately, in the condition of OCD, the brain signals the body that he or she is in grave danger. This feeling might also exist in situations where you have known that there is no life threatening dangers associated with it.

Think about the times when you have always tried to protect yourself in extreme danger situations. The situations where your brain sends you a signal often tends to fuel your body for taking necessary preventive steps. In order to reduce the signs of anxiety and the obsessions that are a part of the compulsive behavior, a person must undergo specific treatments.

There are times when a person is bound to think about protecting himself from all the situations that are taking place in the surroundings. Exposure and Response Prevention helps in finding out whether a person is stuck in some sort of danger or not. This is done by preventing and managing the thoughts in the brain. Managing these thoughts and feelings can only be done when someone does regular brain exercise.

Medications to Treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD Disorder

After the prognosis and diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD, the doctor prescribes a person with certain anti depressants that will soothe the mind. These drugs are also called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like fluoxetine (like, Prozac). The neurotransmitter like serotonin in the brain will be controlled by taking a regular dose of these antidepressants.

Some studies show that in some people the actual drug for combating the occurrence of anxiety cannot be determined. The person who reports such problem may feel relieved within first three weeks of having the medication, which involves SSRIs. While in some case, the drug may take up to Twelve weeks to come into action and show some necessary improvements in a person's behavior. If you notice that the prescription is not doing any good to the symptoms, it is better to talk to the doctor at the earliest. The doctor might increase the percentage of the drug or change it to some other SSRI that will bring significant changes. Clomipramine is prescribed as a replaceable drug for treating OCD in most cases.

Clomipramine is an anti-depressant, which is being used for treating OCD for many years. However, this drug might have innumerable side effects as compared to other SSRIs. The prescription that your doctor has written might include some other combination of drugs if he notices other conditions.

Choice of Medicines for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD

To treat OCD, fluoxetine (for instance, Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and fluvoxamine are often prescribed which are a few types of antidepressants (SSRIs). These tablets are consumed in the form of capsules or pills. Venlafaxine is found to be an effective drug for neutralizing the effects of obsessive compulsive disorder. The tri-cyclic anti depressant Clomipramine is also prescribed in most cases.

The obsessive "thoughts" and compulsive "behavior" that is a common symptom in OCD is often treated by using antidepressants. These drugs increase the amount of serotonin chemical in the human brain, which enhances the communication process in the body, which improves functioning as well.

What are the Side Effects and Risks of Medication Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD:

  • Side Effects: A person may notice certain significant side effects, including reduced interest in sexual activity, upset stomach, insomnia or reduced sleep and sweating. Prior to beginning with the medication, it is advisable to speak about all the possible side effects. It is also necessary to speak about all the monitoring that your health is going to need. When you experience any uneasiness in the body, it is always better to speak about it to your doctor.
  • Suicidal Risk: Although some antidepressants are safe to be used or consumed during such disorders, the FDA suggests to carry out all the necessary research prior to consuming them. After taking these drugs, the number of suicide attempts in children as well as an adult was considerably noticed. This was majorly seen when the prescription was suddenly changed. If you observe any such thoughts clouding your mind, consult the doctor immediately. By controlling them, you can easily control these thoughts.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 5, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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