Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not an easy condition to cure, and the fact is that the treatment will not always be effective. In many cases, people who suffer from OCD will have to be treated for the rest of their lives and the treatment will help them to keep the symptoms of the disorder in question under control. Generally, the therapy for the patients with this problem is based on either psychotherapy or medications, or the combination of the two methods.
The role of psychotherapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that definitely provides the best and the most effective results in cases of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. It helps the person in question to retrain the thought patterns, as well as routines, which results in getting rid of the necessity for compulsive behavior.
Since people with this problem usually have some object or obsession that triggers their obsessive compulsive behavior, the point of this therapy is to learn the techniques that will help in managing these obsessions and compulsions by gradually exposing the person to the so-called trigger. The therapy can be individual or group and it might involve the members of the family.
The role of medications in the therapy
Medications of certain kind can also help in keeping the obsessions and compulsions under control. What doctors tend to try out first are antidepressants, due to the fact that they affect the levels of serotonin, which is often not present in sufficient amounts in people with OCD. Particular medications from this group are officially approved for the treatment of this condition by the FDA. However, it might not be easy to find the most effective one right away, and sometimes even a few months later the first signs of improvement will be noticed. This is something that cannot be predicted because every individual case is different. Some doctors might prescribe antipsychotics in order to make antidepressants even more effective.
What is important to know about these medications is that once the therapy with them begins, it must not be stopped all of a sudden and without a doctor’s approval. The consequences can be serious because either the symptoms of withdrawal will appear, or the symptoms of OCD will return. This is why it is necessary to gradually lower the dosage of these medications and to do it under the supervision, because the symptoms of the disorder might appear even when the dosage is only lowered. In such cases, the person will probably have to take the medicines for the rest of the life.