Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic and common disorder in which a person has frequent thoughts (called as obsessions) and uncontrollable behaviors (called as compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
People with OCD may have symptoms either of only obsessions, or only compulsions, or both obsessions and compulsions. These symptoms can interfere with all facets of life, such as work, and their personal relationships.
Obsessions are repeated and uncontrollable thoughts, images, or urges that cause high levels of anxiety and uneasiness. Common symptoms include fear of germs or contamination, wanting things to be at the perfect place and in perfect order, unwanted or forbidden thoughts involving sex, religion, and harm; and aggressive thoughts towards others or self.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person does in response to an obsessive uncontrollable thought for at least an hour a day, and when it doesn’t give a pleasure, rather affects their life significantly. Once they do the activity, they may get some relief, and hence keep on doing the activity. Common compulsions include excessive cleaning with or without handwashing, arranging things in a particular way only, repeatedly checking on things such as checking repeatedly to see if the door is locked, or compulsive counting.
TREATMENTS AND THERAPIES
OCD is mostly treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. Although most patients respond to treatment, some patients continue to experience symptoms.
Sometimes people with OCD also have other mental disorders, hence it is important to consider these other disorders when making decisions about treatment.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to alleviate reduce OCD symptoms. Examples of medicines that have been proven effective in both adults and pediatric population with OCD include clomipramine, which belongs to an older class of “tricyclic” antidepressants, and several newer SSRIs, including fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and sertraline. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors are likely to require higher doses in the treatment of OCD than of depression, and may usually take 8 to 12 weeks to start working; however, some patients experience fast improvement.
Recent data also shows that some patients may respond well to an antipsychotic medication (such as risperidone). If you are prescribed a medication, you should talk to your physician to understand the risks and benefits of the medications and do not stop taking a medication without talking to your doctor first. It is suggested to not stop a medicine abruptly as it may lead to “rebound” or worsening of OCD symptoms.
Psychotherapy can be an effective treatment for adults and children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment in India. Research shows that certain types of psychotherapy, which includes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and other related therapies (e.g., habit reversal training) are as effective as medicines for many individuals. A type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention is also effective in reducing compulsive behaviors in OCD, even in people who did not respond well to medication.