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How Can Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Be Managed?

Is it possible to control OCD?

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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by repeated or unwanted thoughts or obsessions, as well as behaviors that make them feel obliged to act on something. OCD greatly affects a person’s life because it hinders one’s activities of daily living. Symptoms of OCD include excessive washing or cleaning of hands, repetitive checking of time and performance of rituals such as locking and unlocking doors. Moreover, these actions are time-consuming and interrupt normal day-to-day activities. Fortunately, there are now so many available treatment methods on how to control obsessive compulsive disorder.

For any individual suspected of having OCD, it is crucial to determine the main cause of the behavior. An expert psychologist or counselor can help in identifying and explaining the causes, risk factors and signs and symptoms of the disorder. After all, only with proper understanding can affected people appreciate the possible interventions to control OCD.

Patients are encouraged to undergo a special treatment method called cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to control current symptoms. CBT helps change patients’ perceptions of their thoughts and actions. It can reduce anxiety to facilitate proper coping mechanisms in times of stress. Anti-depressant medications are also prescribed by licensed psychiatrists to help reduce frantic monotonous actions. Persons with both anxiety and OCD need to take antidepressants religiously, as indicated and prescribed by their doctors. Taking medications, however, must be paired with regular therapy and counseling to ensure a well-rounded recovery.

Joining a support group is perhaps the most effective method. Since most OCD patients feel isolated, being part of a support group makes them feel loved and wanted. It also boosts their self-esteem, as they feel that they are not alone in suffering from OCD. In addition, activities done by support groups can help patients gain courage to regain normal daily functioning at a gradual rate.

When a person is diagnosed with OCD, it is best to combine interventions among various medical fields. For children, antidepressants may not be used as the first line of treatment due to potential adverse effects of anti-psychotic medications. Instead, counseling is the primary focus of treatment for childhood OCD. Play therapy and art therapy also help children to channel their negative energy into something more productive. For adults, on the other hand, a combination of proper medications, counseling sessions, participation in support groups and talk therapy is beneficial for recovery.

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