Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a common mental health disorder in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. These obsessions are intrusive and unwanted and therefore trigger intensely distressing feelings which can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Quite often sufferers of OCD are portrayed in the media as individuals who fear germs and clean excessively; however, this is only one manifestation of OCD.
OCD can trick people into thinking they are a person who is polar opposite to them e.g. a psychopath, a bad parent etc. Hence these intrusive thoughts or images are unbearable for OCD suffers; they can destroy their confidence and make them believe they are someone they are not.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a treatable condition. The treatment recommended will depend on how much it's affecting your life.
The two main treatments are:
psychological therapy – usually a type of therapy that helps you face your fears and obsessive thoughts without "putting them right" with compulsions
medication – usually a type of antidepressant medication that can help by altering the balance of chemicals in your brain
A short course of therapy is usually recommended for relatively mild OCD. More severe OCD may require a longer course of therapy and/or medication.
These treatments can be very effective, but it's important to be aware that it can take several months before you notice the benefit.
You can get treatment on the NHS through your GP, or in some areas by referring yourself to a local psychological therapy service.
Therapy for OCD is usually a type called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention (ERP).
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as the most effective form of treatment for Depression and Anxiety Disorders including OCD. Some clients who suffer from OCD feel OCD is a sign of weakness. However, this is far from the truth, as it takes a courageous individual who is affected by this mental health disorder to attend therapy and who are willing to face their fears and stand up to OCD.
working with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions
encouraging you to face your fear and let the obsessive thoughts occur without neutralising them with compulsive behaviours – you start with situations that cause you the least anxiety first, before moving onto more difficult thoughts
The treatment is difficult and may sound frightening, but many people find that when they confront their obsessions, the anxiety does eventually improve or go away.
People with fairly mild OCD usually need about 10 hours of therapist treatment, combined with exercises done at home between sessions. A longer course may be necessary in more severe cases.
You may need medication if psychological therapy doesn't help treat your OCD, or if your OCD is fairly severe.
The main medications prescribed are selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These can help improve OCD symptoms by increasing the levels of a chemical called serotonin in your brain.
You may need to take the medication for 12 weeks before you notice any effect.
Most people require treatment for at least a year. You may be able to stop if you have few or no troublesome symptoms after this time, although some people need to take medication for many years. Your symptoms may continue to improve for up to two years of treatment.
A combination of Counselling Therapy and Medication is the most effective form of treatment. You must consult your GP to see if your OCD requires medication as not all sufferers require this. Some just require a course of CBT which, here at North Oak, we specialise in.
However your OCD displays and affects your life North Oak can help you. I can work with an individual or more than one person to support you in your journey back to a healthy life.
Just remember North Oak offers trained, experienced and confidential Counselling, Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy (including CBT). I am here for you in your time of need and to help you make the right choices. Should you need any more information or would like to book an appointment please click the link or send a message using the form below. I am also more than happy to receive your texts, emails or telephone calls... whichever is easier for you.