The symptoms of OCD are no secret. Ironically, effective treatment methods can be. This is in part because how you treat obsessive compulsive disorder depends greatly on the depth of the problem.
The longer the condition has existed, the more difficult it will be to treat it. The first step, however, is to identify whether you actually have obsessive compulsive disorder.
We all have certain rituals we apply throughout our day. Some are common to most people and do not affect how they go about their day. However, some people have obsessions that take up too much of their day and become so consuming that they are incapable of escaping it.
They can include double checking the locks on your house or car, frequent hand washing, and little quirks like tapping your pencil three times before starting a test. These are all symptoms of OCD.
The way to differentiate obsessive compulsive disorder from a simple ritual is easier than you might think. People with OCD tend to repeatedly do the same thing over and over, well beyond necessity and will break down if they are unable to do that ritual.
The obsessive part of OCD is caused by things like fear of germs and dirt, fear of illness or injury, imagining being harmed, fear of losing control, fear of having aggressive urges, and the fear of immoral thoughts. Compulsions are attempts to rid themselves of those obsessive thoughts. The resulting obsessions usually can include repeated hand washing, counting, checking and touching.
They are most commonly very odd and irrational. The purpose is to rid themselves of the oppressing thoughts and bring peace to their mind, if only for a little while. It is not uncommon for OCD sufferers to also suffer from substance-abuse, eating disorders or alcohol abuse.
No Easy Cure
If you are wondering how to cure OCD, it is not a simple answer. At one time, no one knew how to treat obsessive compulsive disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy is now known to be the answer. Interesting to note that cognitive behavioral therapy is also now commonly used to treat anxiety and panic.
This makes it the ideal treatment for people who are obsessive compulsive and anxious. While medications to boost the serotonin levels will help to relieve the symptoms, cognitive behavioral therapy will cause drastic improvements in the long term.
Cognitive behavioral therapy involves reprogramming the brain so it becomes desensitized to those fearful thoughts and situations. It teaches the individuals alternate ways of handling the worries, fears, apprehensions, stress and anxiety in their lives.
Find a Specialist
One of the most important things you can do is find someone who knows how to treat obsessive compulsive disorder and learn from them. A cognitive behavioral therapy specialist should be sought because they will understand the condition and exactly what youre going through and how to help you overcome it. Do everything you can to learn about the disorder.
Every community has local mental health specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors who are training specifically in how to treat obsessive compulsive behavior. Start with your doctor and he will be able to determine the right path for you.