How to Treat OCD
Knowing how to treat OCD is an important step in beginning the recovery process. OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is an anxiety disorder in which a person suffers from obsessions and compulsions that can feel impossible to control. Improvement in symptoms can be achieved if you treat OCD with proper medication and therapy.
- Visit a psychiatrist to discuss prescription medication options. You can treat OCD effectively with antidepressant medications, but can take at least four weeks to reach maximum effect. Sometimes benzodiazepines (mild tranquilizers) or beta blockers are given to treat anxiety and panic symptoms. Beta blockers work to block the physical sensations of anxiety, such as sweating and heart palpitations.
- Seek a therapist who is knowledgeable of the disease, so they can effectively treat OCD. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is most commonly used to treat OCD. CBT utilizes exposure and response therapies. Exposure refers to slowly exposing yourself to the unwanted thoughts or situations, and response would be working up to not doing the compulsion associated with the thoughts or obsessions.
- Treat any comorbid or underlying mental illnesses. Depression and other anxiety disorders could aggravate or worsen symptoms of OCD.
- Join a support group. Support groups are a great way to see firsthand that you are not alone in this disorder. Other patients can offer insight and personal experiences that point you in the right direction.
- Educate your family and friends. Understanding and knowing how to treat OCD is important for loved ones, so they can aid you in your recovery and provide support when you need it.