How is OCD treated today?

**Disclaimer: By no means is the content on my website a substitute for a professional diagnosis or medical treatment. All of the information on this website is simply a reflection of my own personal experiences and the methods I have used to manage my tics and compulsions. The purpose of Mindful Coping is not to provide professional advice or endorse any treatments, medications or procedures. A licensed medical practitioner is the only person who can diagnose you with a mental illness, but regardless of whether or not you live with mental illnesses, I hope this blog can help you develop healthy habits to prioritize mindful wellness.



Treatments for OCD can be difficult and complex. Not only do they involve medications but also nuanced behavioral training that deals with rewiring codified neurological networks that contribute to OCD behavior. Before reading this article, it is important to understand that there is no panacea, or save-all cure, for any mental illness; if there was, such disorders would not be an issue today.

Firstly, medicines such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) are known to be helpful in calming down anxiety and OCD symptoms. To increase the bodily levels of serotonin, SSRIs inhibit the re-uptake or the processing of serotonin, allowing for a greater amount of the neurotransmitter to pass through cells and transmit "feel-good" messages. These medicines are also used to commonly treat depression or general anxiety disorders. However, medicines can be inconsistent and unreliable for many, so behavioral therapies have grown in popularity.

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is a hands-on, direct style of therapy where a qualified medical professional (psychiatrist/other expert) will guide patients through a reversal of cognitive aspects that contribute to compulsory urges. For example, therapists will help their clients identify premonitory urges, resist compulsive behaviors, and alleviate OCD-based anxiety in a goal-oriented setting. Focusing on the present issues at hand, CBT aims to break down greater anxieties and negative thought cycles to stop symptoms at the root cause. These "competing responses" are also used to tackle mental illnesses like Tourette's Syndrome, Tic Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, and more.

ERP (exposure response prevention) is another style of treatment where a licensed medical practitioner will help patients prevent the onset of symptoms through direct exposure. ERP exposes you to your fears, obsessions, harmful thoughts, etc., and response prevention techniques help to resist and manage urges through practice and daily repetition. Once one learns to accept the "trigger" of the symptom, ERP exercises taught by the therapist are employed to sustain and prolong resistance and find relative solace amidst anxiety.


Both of the aforementioned therapies are short term and intensive, hoping to equip clients with lifelong strategies to combat mental illnesses. In contrast to talk therapy, these behavioral treatments are highly intense, goal-oriented, and designed to seriously battle mental health issues at their roots.


Contact me at rhys.mindfulcoping@gmail.com if you have questions, concerns, comments, and more!

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