What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and How Is It Treated

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is an anxiety disorder that’s often identified by interfering and undesired thoughts known as obsessions and mental or behavioral rituals known as compulsions. OCD is a very common disorder, and in fact, the fourth most diagnosed mental disorder in the united states. It can be quite mild or highly deliberating, but all patients agree that this disorder interferes with their lives and relationships in an unhealthy state.

Well, treating OCD takes time as the obsessions are embedded in the mind, and the victim finds it hard to distract his or her mind. The obsessions tend to cause anxiety and to alleviate it, the individual needs to exercise compulsive behavior. The difficulty in treatment arises at two levels. The first appears when the person becomes habitual to reduce anxiety through compulsive behavior and the second happens when the clinician stops the patient from performing a compulsion after an obsession occurs.

There are a variety of techniques and therapies that collaborate and are used to treat OCD, which we shall briefly cover below:

Pharmacological Treatment

Research has shown that serotonin, a neurotransmitter is involved in OCD. Low levels of serotonin can induce obsessions and compulsions in an individual, and if that’s the case, Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are recommended.


There is a number of psychotherapies that can be used to treat OCD:

The first thing that psychologists is psycho educating the patient and his or her loved ones about the condition. This stage involves developing a full understanding of the issue including the causes, symptoms and viable treatment modes.

Clinicians usually employ relaxation therapy as a treatment for the OCD. In this form of therapy, the clinician teaches the patient how to calm themselves down. Self-instruction or self-talk is one of the most beneficial techniques for people with obsessive compulsive disorder. During self-instruction, the patient talks him or herself in order to guide. This is also helpful in preventing the patient from performing compulsions.

Exposure Response Prevention or ERP is one of the most popular OCD treatment methods under psychotherapies. In this treatment method, the patient is exposed to anxiety provoking action, for example, touching the handle of a door and not being allowed to wash their hands afterward. This hopefully alleviates anxiety, and the patient learns that compulsive behavior is not the way to reduce anxiety.

These are of course, not the only methods of treating OCD, but are the most popular.