Is OCD curable?
OCD is a life long condition and follows periods of remission and relapse. Sometimes stress can trigger an episode of OCD. Medications sometimes are required in the long term to achieve good control of symptoms. With modern treatment options OCD can be kept under control in the long term.
How can I stop OCD?
Sometimes trying to resist obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals can be very anxiety provoking. Hence CBT techniques can be used to slowly overcome OCD symptoms.
Meanwhile acceptance therapy which concentrates on accepting the thoughts and mindfulness exercises that concentrate on being mindful about the symptoms and letting go can all help.
What is the best treatment for OCD?
The best treatment for OCD is a combination of medications and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. With just this, a vast majority of OCD symptoms can be overcome. However, you have to take these medications regularly and be followed up by your psychiatrist who will prescribe accordingly and adjust the dose during follow ups based on symptoms. Furthermore, meticulously following the CBT techniques can also help.
What medications are used to treat OCD?
The main first line treatment for OCD is selective serotonin Reuptake inhibitors. Additionally, sometimes people may need an add on medication such as an antipsychotic or a mood stabilizer. N acetyl cysteine in higher doses are found to be an effective treatment option for OCD.
How are SSRIs used differently to treat OCD compared to depression?
SSRI medications are used in depression, OCD and anxiety disorders. Typically, in OCD higher doses of SSRIs are used than in depression. So, for example a SSRI fluoxetine is given at dosage of 10-20 mg in depression and whereas in OCD higher doses of 60 or even 80 mg may be required to achieve good control of symptoms.
What are the medications used to treat resistant OCD?
Sometimes OCD does not respond to standard guidelines of treatment. Hence if OCD does not respond to at least 2 trials of SSRI treatment then it is called treatment resistant OCD. In that case, psychiatrists do what is known as “add on” of medications such as antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers etc.
How long does it take for medications to work in OCD?
Medications for OCD will not work immediately. This can be understandably frustrating since you may expect immediate relief. In the short term some anti-anxiety medications can be given for quick relief. However, SSRI medications for OCD will typically take 3 weeks to start acting. Some people report even 10 weeks to start seeing a response. It is important to understand this as this can be a reason why people discontinue early. Hence adequate information and reassurance will be given and you will be supported to keep compliant with the medications.
How can I beat OCD without medications?
Non pharmacological options for treatment of OCD include Cognitive Behaviour therapy, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy and relaxation exercises. However in many moderate to severe OCD people may be required to start on medications first to obtain a certain degree of control of symptoms before starting therapy.
Can I cure OCD with diet?
Some research suggests that diet that is low in glutamate can help with symptoms of OCD.
You must consult with your psychiatrist to get advice regarding this.
Can caffeine help OCD?
Some studies have shown that moderate coffee intake can reduce symptoms of OCD. But as in any other advice it is best not to overdo anything. You must bear in mind that coffee taken especially in the evenings can interfere with sleep so best to take the coffee during the day if required.
Will exercise help treat OCD?
Exercise, as part of general lifestyle management proves to be an important factor in reducing anxiety and controlling symptoms of OCD. It is essential that one should exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
What is the best therapy for OCD?
Apart from medications, psychiatrists offer a form of talk therapy for people with OCD. This therapy is known as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (in short CBT). This, by and large has got best research evidence for good control of OCD symptoms.
Can I treat OCD at home?
Some people may feel embarrassed to consult a psychiatrist and want to do self help for OCD at home. This must not be done in the first instance. You must consult a psychiatrist who will then advise you on the exercises you can at home to help your OCD. This can then be done by yourself at home and reviewed by the psychiatrist.
What is cognitive Behavioural therapy?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (also known in short as CBT) is a talk therapy which was founded by a psychiatrist Aaron Beck in the year 1960. CBT is widely used in the treatment of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, OCD and addiction disorders. It is time limited and usually requires you to see your psychiatrist every week or once in 10 days for about 8 to 12 sessions. You will be given homework to do which will be reviewed in your next session.
What are the aspects of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?
Typically, as the name suggests Cognitive Behaviour therapy has 2 components – the Cognitive and Behavioural. Cognitive is in relation to the thoughts and Behavioural in relation to behaviours.
Cognitive aspect targets faulty thinking patterns and obsessional thoughts. Behavioural targets the compulsive behaviours.
What is Exposure and Response prevention?
ERP or Exposure and Response prevention is a part of Cognitive Behaviour therapy and is a key step wise component of facing the various anxiety provoking thoughts and compulsions little by little and overcoming the anxiety For eg., when one has a repeated compulsion of checking locks on the door 25 times before leaving the house, an ERP programme is devised so that they reduce checking to 23 next week; then 20 the following week and so forth. People are taught to hold on to the anxiety till it reduces by half. This eventually will help a person overcome their symptoms by a principle known as “Habituation”. ERP can be done for both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
How can I overcome obsessive thoughts?
As mentioned earlier, in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy there are various strategies including challenging faulty thinking patterns, Exposure and Response prevention, acceptance, mindfulness, defusion etc which can help overcome obsessive thoughts. These must be followed diligently and homework done to get to the bottom of the problem. You must also follow your psychiatrist’s advice on medications.
How can I overcome compulsive rituals?
By practising the techniques given as part of CBT sessions by your psychiatrist and taking your medications diligently, you can overcome compulsive rituals.
Can people with OCD live a normal life?
A person who is well treated for OCD can continue to live a productive life and enjoy all aspects of life. OCD when treated well should not prevent a person from working, travelling or having a normal family life.
Can OCD cause death?
OCD is a mental health condition if untreated can affect the quality of life badly.
However, OCD does not directly cause death. Saying that, death by suicide in OCD is quite high. Also, presence of other addictions or mental health conditions can increase the risk for death by suicide. Hence it is imperative that OCD is treated early and meticulously.
Is OCD a lifelong condition?
OCD is a mental health condition that runs a remitting and relapsing course. It is generally a lifelong condition but with modern medications and therapy treatments this condition can be maintained under control very well with full functioning and good quality of life.
Does OCD worsen with age?
OCD does not automatically get worse with age. In fact, when someone is well controlled and treated for OCD, the symptoms will improve as age progresses. When OCD is left untreated it will gradually get worse and functioning will be affected as one grows older.
Can OCD be cured permanently?
OCD is a mental health condition and though a permanent cure is not possible, most of the symptoms can be kept well under control and in complete remission (that is where the symptoms are completely disappear) with a combination of medications and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.