Medication And Treatment For Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

Antidepressants are the most common treatment option for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, they should be used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Medication and treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder

OCD ( Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ), or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a common medical condition that can be treated. Today, there are a number of medications, especially antidepressants, that are effective for the general treatment of this mental disorder. If you do not get the right treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, it can cause distress and make daily activities more complicated.

There is no reason to be ashamed of seeking the right treatment for this disorder. It is a disease just like any other, like Parkinson’s or diabetes. Precisely because of this, it is important that you do research on this condition so that you can better understand it and put any notions you have about it behind you.

There have been many studies whose results show that the treatment known as cognitive behavioral therapy, together with medication, is an effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Throughout this article, we will therefore look at different medications used to treat OCD, as well as what the treatment entails.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

The first treatment for any form of obsessive-compulsive disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy has actually been recommended by major institutes, such as the National Institute of Mental Health and the Harvard School of Medicine .

One type of cognitive behavioral therapy that specialists often use is exposure to response prevention. This method involves gradually exposing oneself to dreaded objects or obsessions, such as dirt, and trying to teach the patient healthy ways to deal with the anxiety this may generate.

Exposure with response prevention requires effort and practice, but you achieve effective results and improve your quality of life once you have learned to control your obsessions. This type of therapy can be performed both in individual sessions, or in family or group sessions.

A woman at the psychologist
Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to have good results in treating OCD.

What medications are used to treat OCD?

Antidepressants are the most common treatment option among healthcare professionals. Specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medications can reduce the level of the disorder and help with the treatment.

Antidepressants should be prescribed by a psychiatrist, and are usually used temporarily until one is able to deal with the disorder with the treatment we mentioned. However, each patient responds differently to medication and therapy.

Some people see good results with the first medication option, while others will have to try different medications to reduce the symptoms. Sometimes doctors often combine reuptake inhibitors with other medications to try to get better results. The medications used for obsessive-compulsive disorder are:

  • Clomipramine – for people over 10 years
  • Fluoxetine – for patients over 7 years of age
  • Fluvoxamine – for people over 8 years
  • Paroxetine – for adults only
  • Sertraline – for adults and children over the age of 6

It is worth noting that when using these types of antidepressants, they start to work 10 weeks after you start taking them. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to know if they work or not. However, the doctor should always be the one to make the decisions.

Antidepressants are the most common option for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Combined treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder

Although there are several medications we can use for OCD, studies have consistently suggested that the relapse rate is lower with cognitive behavioral therapy than with medications. You should not take this as a generalization, since each person is different. However, there is an interesting fact to help you deal with this problem.

The most effective way to reduce your symptoms is to combine therapy and medication. In fact, experts say that pharmaceutical treatment should be a supplement to cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition, you should only use medications when they are prescribed by your healthcare provider.

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