One thing that people commonly want to know, once they’ve figured out they have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is how to get rid of it, or at least how to treat it so dealing with OCD becomes more manageable.
More than 19,000 people a month search on Google for the terms OCD treatment, treatment for OCD, treatment of OCD, treatments for OCD and OCD treatments. They all mean the same thing but it shows that a lot of people are interested in treatments for OCD.
Most of the results that pop up in Google are good ones. They put the OCD sufferer on the right track toward a possible treatment program. Inevitably some of the many results when it comes to OCD treatment include such things as psychotherapy and hypnosis. These are not real treatments for OCD.
There is one gold standard treatment for OCD and that is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with or without medications. Some websites really emphasize Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), which is a type of CBT. That’s it. That’s the treatment for OCD.
Treatment of OCD has come a long way in the past few decades. We know that about 80% of OCD sufferers who go through at least one round of CBT have a better quality of life because of it. Some of those people also take a medication (notably an SSRI) and some do without medications and solely go the CBT route.
CBT is a combination of two types of therapy: Cognitive Therapy and Behavioral Therapy. In a nutshell that means teaching the sufferer to think differently and behave differently. CBT is taught by a professional therapist to the sufferer and the sufferer does the work necessary to progress down the road to recovery.
Don’t put your hopes on advertised treatments for OCD other than CBT, with or without medications. This is where you focus should be because it’s been proven to work with so many people.
There is talk on the web about treatment resistant OCD — that’s the 20% of people that CBT has not helped. But there is always another therapist to go to, someone who takes a different approach to CBT. There are in-patient clinics for intensive CBT. There can be the addition of meds to help deal with overwhelming anxiety that can get in the way of recovery.
Never say never.
The other thing that people should know about OCD treatment is that you are in charge of your own mental health. It is your responsibility to choose a therapist wisely, listen to what is being taught and carry out a proper action plan. Don’t forego responsibility to a therapist. You are in charge. Stay in charge!