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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Treatment Options

Posted Apr 01 2011 8:00am

In addition to existing treatment options for obsessive compulsive disorder, research is bringing in fresh, improved therapeutic methods that can help OCD sufferers lead fulfilling and worthwhile lives. The two commonly adopted treatment methods for this disorder are psychotherapy and medication. Typically a combination of both therapy and medication results in the best outcome for the patient.

Treatment Options forObsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The various treatment modes for OCD are discussed below:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy– It is a kind of psychotherapy that places importance on how thinking affects the way we feel, and our actions. There are two aspects to this therapy, namely, cognitive therapy and exposure and response prevention. The cognitive component arms the patient with healthy and successful tactics as opposed to compulsive behavior to tackle obsessive thoughts. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) incorporates repeated exposure to the trigger factor of the obsession. Gradually, the patient would be guided to avoid engaging in the compulsive behavior that he would usually engage in to lessen the anxiety.

  • Family Therapy– A single member plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder can cause chaos and disruption for the entire family. However, many psychologists believe that OCD can be a result of family dysfunction as the sufferer utilizes the symptoms of the OCD to create structure and order in a chaotic family system.   In family therapy, family members not only learn about the disease and how they can help in symptom management but also work on changing family dynamics and family roles that contributed to the development of the OCD. The outcome is a reduction in family conflicts.

  • Medication– Medication works best when used along with therapy. SSRIs, antidepressants, and tranquilizers, are some examples of medication that may be utilized to manage OCD. Medication can help clients manage the underlying anxiety so they can actively participate in the therapeutic process.

  • Group Therapy– Group therapy involves communication with other OCD sufferers and can provide a sense that the sufferer is not alone. The group can also help the client challenge distorted thoughts or obsessions. The group environment can provide a sense of universality, safety, empathy, and cohesion.

Managing Co-morbidity with an Eating Disorder

There are cases where the OCD is co-morbid with an eating disorder such as Bulimia Nervosa or Anorexia Nervosa. In such instances, the ideal approach would be to deal with both disorders to keep relapse under control. Effective treatment would help clients work to reduce both behaviors simultaneously as they often exacerbate on another.   If you want your loved one to get maximum benefits from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder treatment options, you must seek treatment from the right treatment center. Begin an online search or get reliable references.

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