Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious mental disorder that impacts anywhere from two to three million Americans every year. Although an assortment of treatment options exist for OCD, the most popular ones are cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, behavioral therapies and medications. Which option a given sufferer selects depends largely on what they are looking to achieve, how quickly, and what side-effects they are willing to deal with.
In the case of behavioral therapies, treatment includes ritual prevention and exposure therapy. Essentially, this way of dealing with OCD centers are helping the sufferer endure extended periods during which they force themselves to not give into the compulsions. This can be extremely difficult, however, in the presence of a trained professional, this can be an extremely effective way of dealing with the condition.
In the case of cognitive behavioral therapy, patients are taught how to alter their negative thought processes of thinking and behaving. Most often, this includes helping rid a person of their anxiety-causing thoughts and emotions in an effort to get to the root of the problem.
Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are medications that are generally used to treat this condition. They essentially utilize an increase in the amount of neurochemical in the brain, in an effort to alter the messages that the brain is getting to conform to given obsessions and compulsions.
Typically, SSRIs are known to have less side-effects than clomipramine, an older medication that although is recognized as more effective, can be a bit more dangerous. Generally speaking, SSRIs are usually handled well by the body, and the side-effects are usual mild if any occur at all.
As is always the case, it’s advisable that a sufferer consults with a physician or mental health specialist before committing to any one course of action against OCD.