disorder. The person suffers from unwanted repetitive thoughts and behaviors. These obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are very difficult to overcome. If severe and untreated, OCD can destroy the ability to function at work, school, or home.
This part of the brain is believed to be the area of impulse control.
***Please note FDA Public Health Advisory for Antidepressants:
The FDA advises that people taking antidepressants should be closely observed. For some, the medications have been linked to worsening symptoms and suicidal thoughts. These adverse effects are most common in young adults. The effects tend to occur at the beginning of treatment or when there is an increase or decrease in the dose.
Although the warning is for all antidepressants, of most concern are the SSRI class such as:
Behavioral therapy addresses the actions associated with OCD; cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) addresses both the thought processes and the actions associated with OCD.
Examples of therapies used to treat OCD include:
Exposure and response prevention—helps you gradually confront the feared object or obsession without giving in to the compulsive ritual linked to it
In patients who are also taking SSRIs, this form of therapy may be more effective than stress management training.
Aversion therapy—use of painful stimulus to prevent OCD behavior
Thought switching—patient learns to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts
Flooding—intense exposure to object that causes OCD behavior
Implosion therapy—repeated exposure to object that causes fear
Thought stopping—patient learns to stop negative thoughts
An implantable brain device has received limited FDA approval to treat severe cases of OCD. Often called a brain pacemaker, the device delivers mild electrical impulses to the brain to interrupt OCD symptoms.
There are no guidelines for preventing OCD because the cause is not known. But early intervention may help before it becomes worse.
*¹4/16/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
: Simpson HB, Foa EB, Liebowitz MR, et al. A randomized, controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy for augmenting pharmacotherapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Am J Psychiatry.
2008;165:621-630. Epub 2008 Mar 3.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a