Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that involves excessive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). OCD affects nearly 3.3 million people in the United States; if untreated, it can cause much distress in various aspects of life. If you’ve been diagnosed with OCD, you may have obsessions related to contamination, loss of control, religious or moral concerns, fear of losing things you may need, order and symmetry, and more. Many people seek treatment for OCD and find that while there is no cure, treatment can drastically reduce distressing symptoms and may help a person better manage their life, living happier and healthier.
The following are the two most effective forms of treatment for OCD:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – A psycho-social intervention, CBT is time-sensitive, structured, and directed towards solving current problems. A 2015 study published in Psychiatry Research found CBT to aid individuals with OCD in improved tolerance of distress, symptom-related dysfunctional beliefs, adherence to treatment, and reduced drop out of treatment. This is likely because CBT helps people to overcome their self-limiting beliefs, which are enacting through their thoughts and actions. Once a person can push past these beliefs and see how they are contributing to their current problems, they can work towards changing what they can, and accepting what they can’t.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) – Considered the first-line treatment of OCD, ERP involves being exposed to situations that bring on obsessions while not engaging in unhelpful coping strategies that have previously served as rituals or avoidance. For example, if a person’s OCD is centered around contamination, they may expose themselves in treatment to touching a door knob without washing their hands afterwards – repeated occasions of situations similar to this can show the person that no harm is being experienced.
Both forms of treatment involve homework or journaling exercises for clients to complete outside of therapy sessions; these are to help the individual work on what they’ve learned on their own as well. If your OCD has caused significant distress to your daily life, you may wish to seek treatment to pursue these methods; medication may also be included to help you clear your mind while you focus solely on your recovery.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 855-668-9094 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.