The OCD condition is psychological in nature and has many sufferers across the world. It is where a person has impulses or obsessions like having repetitive actions like cleaning things many times over in a strict and regimented manner to help try and reduce levels of panic, fear and guilt.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder treatment can include medications such as antidepressants which are classed as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors or SSRI’s. In fact some scientists believe that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental disorder which can be treated with medications and drugs. These SSRI drugs help stimulate the serotonin levels in the brain.
Serotonin is a hormone responsible for our mood, sexuality and hunger and low levels of this hormone could give rise to depression in some individuals. While these drugs are certainly effective, like most prescription medications, they can lead to dependence and other serious side-effects.
More commonly used and widespread OCD treatment techniques would involve the use of Psychotherapy and counselling which has become known as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). The psychiatrist would help the patient reflect on and be exposed to their repetitive actions and focus upon them.
It is almost like the concept of facing one’s fears to defeat that particular and CBT works on a similar principle. It is basically a reprogramming of the mind which can help in reducing the symptoms and behaviours associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Some therapists will also include group and family sessions as part of the OCD treatment.
For example, if an OCD sufferer washes their hands many times, and over and over again, they may be asked to touch a toilet door handle and then not be allowed to wash their hands. As you reflect on the urge and anxiety and discuss this with you therapist, but not being allowed to still wash your hands, hopefully this urge will eventually dissipate. You realise that you do not need to undertake the process of going through this repetitive behaviour to remove your anxiety. This is the basic theory behind CBT.
Severe and more drastic forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder treatment techniques involve the use of deep brain stimulation. Such treatment is normally only given to people with extreme cases of OCD and where other treatments have failed. Normally the sufferer will have electrodes attached to them where low voltage electric signals and pulses will be used to stimulate those deeper regions within the brain. It has been shown to be very effective although most people would prefer not to take such a drastic course of action if possible.
Some people also advocate more natural techniques such as yoga and meditation which help remove stress and anxiety and promote relaxation and calmness. Anxiety is usually at the root of this disorder.
If you can target the anxiety through relaxation techniques, then you have a better chance of removing the associated resultant behaviours of Obsessive Compulsvie Disorder as the calming effects can last well beyond the act of meditation or yoga, especially if practised regularly. Of course, you need to identify that a problem exists in the first place and you need to do something about it.
Some believe lastly that natural herbs provide the answer as one of the most effective OCD treatment techniques and these do not normally have the risk of side effects as can be common in pharmaceutical drugs and medications. Such herbs which have been found to help include Inositol, St John’s Wort, Camomile and Passionflower.