Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over. The compulsive behaviors is the typical symptom that people know about OCD. But the obsessive thoughts is the worse and deeper symptom. Repeat doing something is frustrate while the obsessive thoughts is deadly. People who got serious OCD just cann’t stop thinking many daily things or events that are common and normal but worrying these things or events would lead to big problems that would ruin their lives. It’s really very terrible that you always have to worry about every common thing and you just want to make everything clear and under control to ensure no big problems. When you overcome a worry and then a new worry go on the other thing. You just can not stop the worry and always live under depression that’s actually already ruining your life.
So when you are diagnosed with OCD by a doctor or self-diagnosis based on your symptoms. You need to be treated as soon as possible. Psychotherapy and medications are the two main treatments for OCD by now. The doctors often treat OCD with a combination of psychotherapy and medications for a better therapeutic effect.
- ERP. The therapy called ERP (exposure and response prevention) is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and by now the most popular and effective treatment. It’s to gradually expose you to a feared object, such as germ. For example, the people with OCD who has issues with germs might be asked to touch a toilet seat and then refrain from washing their hands, this helps you learn healthy ways to cope with your anxiety. It has been proven by some experienced people that ERP work effectively to cure OCD. But you need to find a properly trained therapist who specializes in OCD.
- Meditation. For the people who suffer deeper OCD of obsessive thoughts. They don’t have a concrete object to fear. Because the feared things are actually events, the feared events are always different, these events are potential and appear up anytime in your thought and you can not stop to worry if the event would develop a big problem that would affect your living, one after one, seems never stop putting you into fear. I personally doubt if ERP can treat such a OCD. I think meditation may be more workable to treat OCD (obsessive thoughts). The nature of meditation based on my practice experience is : don’t recall the past and don’t fear the future, empty your mind, if not able to empty your mind, just care the presence of you. That’s contradicting the root case of obsessive thoughts! Now meditation is adopted by some people to treat OCD and listed out as a one of the good ways to cope with OCD. More details, see my another article of Mindfulness Meditation And OCD.
Certain psychiatric medications can help to control the obsessions and compulsions of OCD. The medication may not cure OCD, but can control the mental issue to make the patients feel better and go on their livings. It’s often used to work with psychotherapy to achieve a better curative effect.
Antidepressants are tried for OCD most commonly. Antidepressants that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat OCD include:
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox CR)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
These antidepressants may bring with some side effects, such as sweating, stomach upset, sleep disturbance and reduced sexual desire. Even increase suicidal thoughts or behavior especially for people who’s under 25 when taking antidepressants. So it’s supposed to see an OCD specialist before taking any of these antidepressants.