What is OCD and What Treatments are Available?
What is OCD

What is OCD and What Treatments are Available?

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is an acute cognitive ailment connected with severe levels of impairment. Some common symptoms include chronic doubts, excessive need for order, obsessive washing and cleaning, unreasonable fear of germs, dust, dirt, etc. 

Typically, OCD begins in teens and young adults. Initial complications often start out as mild irregularities in behaviour such as:

  • Craving reassurance
  • Incessant counting
  • Strict adherence to routines and schedules
  • Mild neuroticism, etc

However, if left untreated, these mild complications can become inflated over time, and evolve into more serious thoughts and actions such as: 

  • Overly obsessive control over the surrounding environment
  • Extreme distress when items and objects aren’t placed in the “proper position” 
  • Visions of enacting violence upon others
  • Ideas of yelling belligerent profanities in public spaces

How OCD is Diagnosed

Your doctor or medical professional is the authority figure with the proper qualifications to diagnose OCD. Typically, this process will include a short interview with your doctor asking you a series of questions related to your ailment. Afterward, a physical examination will take place to evaluate your condition and to determine the quality of your mental health. From there your doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or whoever is performing the assessment will provide you with the final diagnosis. 

There are a variety of procedures to treat OCD that will greatly minimize its symptoms, however, that’s not the case for everyone. And for those who remain unaffected by the standard treatment methodology, several substitutes and preliminary OCD medications are being dispensed — offering some optimism. 

Alternatives for OCD Treatment

Deep rooted research indicates that as much as 32% to 70% of people affected by OCD go through a suspension of the symptomatic effects. This entails that the possibility of regular health is not only realistic, but probable. OCD treatments come in a multitude of variations. Here are a few to consider:

Medication

Many medications and medicinal drugs have been certified by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to treat OCD. Many of these medications are categorized as antidepressants, however, they are also proven to be effective in treating OCD as well. The drugs work by amplifying the quantity of serotonin in the brain. And one of the causes of OCD is a lack of this hormone being operational within the brain. 

If conventional OCD treatment has been ineffective, then augmentation therapy could be a promising alternative. This procedure can be implemented to enhance the chances of alleviating indications of OCD. With augmentation therapy, a variety of drugs and medications are dispensed as opposed to a singular drug. This is what allows for optimal results.

Psychological Therapy

If OCD symptoms happen to be particularly strong and frequent, then psychological therapy may be an effective form of treatment. There are two kinds of primary psychological therapy methods associated with the treatment of OCD. The first one being cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and the second being exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). The majority of individuals who go through either or both forms will typically become cognizant of a considerable reduction in both the regularity and the intensity of symptoms related to their OCD.

However, despite its effectiveness for OCD symptoms, CBT is also quite costly. To minimize the steep price, you might want to consider group CBT treatment. You can gain access to this resource via hospitals or other similar healthcare environments.

Additionally, if after exploring both ERP and CBT, you come to the conclusion that they’re not for you, then another alternative to look into would be ACT (acceptance and commitment) therapy. This is a fairly novel form of psychological therapy for OCD. The fundamental idea behind ACT is that worry and distress are natural components of living, which entails that it is our response to the anxiety-provoking situation that is at the heart of the issue.

Alternative Remedies

Approximately 25% to 40% of individuals won’t properly react to the therapies and medications discussed in this article. However, there are additional alternatives to consider that, although may not be as popular, can still have a favourable effect. A few of these alternatives are methods such as ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), as well as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, in addition to deep brain stimulation. 

Research has indicated that methods aiming at certain circuits in the brain might be useful for minimizing some of the symptoms of OCD in individuals who saw no improvements using the initial treatment methods. 

RTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) has gained substantial notoriety as a conceivable option to minimize the symptoms of OCD. But despite its promising potential, the proof has gained mixed reviews in regards to how effective it truly is as a treatment method. 

Furthermore, another alternative you may want to consider is neurosurgery. This includes methods like cingulotomy and capsulotomy, which calls for producing contusions on certain parts of the brain. This kind of methodology is typically reserved as a last ditch effort for when most everything has failed. 

Self-Help Tactics

Generally speaking, treating OCD will involve the authority and expertise of an experienced and licensed mental health expert. However, more natural methods have been reported to be helpful. And believe it or not, there are several OCD self-help tactics you can implement to help you better cope with and handle your symptoms. Some of these include:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Cold showers
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Mindfulness

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