Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
If you have OCD, treatment and your own efforts can offer hope for a healthier, happier life. Talk to your health care provider. Or, contact a mental health professional or mental health clinic. They’re listed in the yellow pages of your phone book. If you can’t afford treatment, don’t give up. There are programs that may help pay for your care.
National Institute of Mental Health 866-615-6464 www.nimh.nih.gov
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 800-950-6264 www.nami.org
The National Mental Health Association 800-969-6642 www.nmha.org
International OCD Foundation 617-973-5801 www.iocdf.org
Medications that treat depression may also help control the symptoms of OCD. These medications don’t cure the disorder, but they can provide some relief. It may take at least 3 weeks for them to work. Once you feel better, don’t stop taking them on your own. If you do, your symptoms will likely come back. Also, keep in mind that most medications can have side effects. If you’re troubled by side effects, tell your doctor. Changing the dose or type of medication may help.
This type of therapy can help you change unwanted thought patterns. You’ll also learn to control compulsive actions. Working with your therapist, you’ll confront your unwanted thoughts and fears, one step at a time.
OCD may also affect your loved ones. They may be confused or angered by your symptoms. Often, they may want to help but don’t know what to do. A family therapist can help them learn more about OCD. They may also find comfort in an OCD support group.