In the last ten years, there have been several experimental treatments of OCD attempted. Some success has been documented, but for the most part, there is little change in how analysts choose to treat their patients. One of the most often used techniques is cognitive-behavioral therapy, and it is often used in tandem with anti-depressants.
Medication and OCD
Anti-depressants have not shown to be effective to relieve OCD symptoms when used exclusively. While medication can make the mind more receptive to therapy, it does not create any peaceful sensations in the brain. Issues may arise with medications because they can produce strange side effects. In some cases they may even elevate OCD symptoms.
Most anti-depressants that are used for OCD are addictive if they are taken on a regular basis. For this reason, drugs are considered a very limited tool for treatments of OCD. Many sufferers don’t like how they feel while taking anti-depressants, so they opt to forego any advantages drugs may add to treatments.
Two Primary Components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Therapists feel their best results come from exposing patients with OCD to the triggers of their obsession, while requesting that they do not fall into their compulsive routine. A typical obsession for OCD is hand washing after a contact with a certain, or any, foreign surface.
Asking a patient to refrain from washing hands can effect change, if it is done repetitiously. The more times the hand washing is prevented, the less the desire by the patient to follow the ritual.
Additionally, when a sufferer realizes he or she can stop an obsession once, it gives them confidence to stop it entirely. This places the patient back in control and works to decrease anxiety over time.
Cognitive therapy is the second component of treatment that attempts to instill a sense of propriety in reactions. It is reiterated over and over that there are much better ways to face a situation than through compulsive behavior.
The Four Steps for Treatments of OCD
There are four basic areas that therapists work on to improve symptoms of OCD. They are:
* Recognition – A sufferer has to understand that OCD is causing the thoughts that lead to obsession. Forcing the mind to accept that the feelings are unrealistic does not make them magically end, but it does begin the process.
* Reattribute – However intrusive or intense thoughts are or how much obsessive urge there is, they are not the thoughts of the individual. They are caused by the OCD, which is to blame.
* Refocus Attention – The best way to get around false messages to the brain is by concentrating on something else. Practice makes it easier to put away stressful thoughts.
* Revalue or Devalue – Knowing that some thoughts are irrational, the OCD sufferer can devalue them, even though they won’t go away. The less important a thought becomes, the less suffering it produces.
If you or someone you know suffers from OCD, there is a way to successfully put it in its place. The treatments of OCD you use will determine how soon you can slow down your obsessive behavior and get back into the social world. Follow the link to learn how you can control the stressful condition of obsessive compulsive disorder.
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