There are no common conclusions to be drawn in who develops OCD. It occurs equally between genders, races, and social backgrounds. There is one factor though: obsessive compulsive behavior does tend to first show itself when a child is an adolescent or when an adult in in their early twenties.
While obsessive compulsive disorder doesn’t cure itself and will never go away fully, there are treatments that can be used to manage the condition. As a general rule, people who suffer with extreme forms of the condition will need both medication and psychiatric treatment or other interventions. Milder forms can often be managed with one or the other types options as determined by a professional.
The most common form of psychiatric therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy, and it has proven to be successful for many people with the disorder. This is a type of counseling that allows people with OCD to confront their fears and obsessions in a safe and controlled environment. Essentially, the person is exposed to their fears until they begin to realize there is nothing to be afraid of.
Therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder through medications can depend on the prescribing physician. There are few different categories of medications used to treat the condition, including:
– Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil)
– Tricyclic Antidepressants (Anafranil)
– Atypical Antipsychotics (Resperdal and Abilify)
A physician or psychiatric specialist will determine which of these medications could be most helpful for an OCD patient.
There are some cases when the condition is so severe that the patient can no longer function and no other treatments are helping. In those situations, more drastic measures may be taken. These may include ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy. This involves sending electric shocks to the brain to cause mini seizures. If this therapy helps the patient improve, then further sessions may be used to continue reducing the symptoms of OCD. Another type of drastic treatment of category is called DBS or deep brain stimulation. It is actually surgical and involves implanting electrodes in the brain. These treatments are referred to as targeted interventions, and they are only used when other options and combinations of those options are not helping at all.
The response to treatment can vary greatly from one patient to another. And, professionals may find that treatment for the condition often involves some form of trial and error to find the right combination that will help a patient.
Make sure to check out our article on OCD Checking.
While no one has actually determined what exactly causes OCD, experts have begun to pinpoint risk factors for the development of the condition. Additionally, they have better come to understand obsessive compulsive disorder as an illness on its own, not just another form of anxiety. While, as mentioned, OCD cannot be cured completely, it can be managed through the use of different therapies, medication, and possibly surgical intervention.