Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The two main characteristics of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) are obsessions and compulsions. An example of OCD is an individual with an irrational fear of germs, which results in a meticulous, repetitive obsession with hand washing (one that far exceeds any normal health concerns). Fear of germs is the obsession and the repetitive hand washing is the compulsion. A disturbing obsession is perceived as a problem that must be fixed, and it results in a compulsive attempt to resolve it. We are not talking about normal concerns for hygiene or safety, such as rechecking to make sure your house is locked, but about consuming an unnecessary amount of time to repeat the process over and over again. Washing hands several times long after the hands have been cleaned, checking the alarm clock every few seconds to make sure it has been set, these are just a couple signs of OCD.


In a recent press release from the National Institute for Mental Health, some interesting observations on the treatments of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were made. Drugs that boost brain serotonin levels help 75 to 80 percent of patients dramatically. However, the researchers report that it is “most fascinating” that they see at least the same amount of improvement with non-drug behavioral treatments. The classic behavioral therapy for OCD is called “exposure and response prevention”. In this treatment, a individual  with OCD will be exposed to a situation that is the focus of his or her obsession. Then, they will assist their patient in avoiding his or her usual ritual. Therefore, if you have OCD, behavioral therapy should normally be sufficient for helping you to overcome, and normalize your lifestyle.


Reference: Depression the Way Out 

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