What are the treatment options for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Treatment for OCD is aimed at controlling symptoms so that people with this condition can live a happy, healthy life without their obsessions and compulsions interfering. 
Possible treatments for OCD include:
  • Psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often helpful for people with OCD. Therapy may be individual, with family, or in groups. CBT can be helpful in teaching people healthy ways to cope with their anxiety. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a type of CBT that helps people slowly become exposed to a feared object or obsession. It is sometimes used in people with OCD. 
  • Deep brain stimulation may be used when medications and psychotherapy aren’t effective. Not much research has been done on the success of using deep brain stimulation for OCD. 
  • Clinical trials are new or experimental treatment methods that people with OCD can volunteer to take part in. 
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant that are typically the first line of treatment for people with OCD. They are used to try and decrease/manage symptoms. Other types of antidepressants may also be used. 
  • Antipsychotic medications may be used to manage OCD symptoms if antidepressants are not effective.
obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) treatment

  • "Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Sep. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2017.
  • “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health, Jan. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2017.
  •  “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2017. 


From Our Blog: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
CBT and DBT are two forms of psychotherapy (“talk therapy”). In both, you work with a mental health professional to learn more about the challenges you experience and learn skills to help you manage those challenges on your own. As with many forms of psychotherapy, it takes time and effort to enjoy the benefits of DBT and CBT skills. But once people master skills with support from their CBT or DBT therapist, they often find their new skills and strategies become second nature- they are tools that last a lifetime! Check out this infographic for an overview of the differences between CBT and DBT:
cognitive behavioral therapy vs. dialectical behavior therapy


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