If left untreated, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can seriously affect your daily functioning, relationships, success in school, ability to work, and mental health. OCD is usually treated with a combination of behavioral therapy (counseling) and medications. Behavioral therapy can help you gradually confront feared objects or ideas, either directly or by imagination. Medications are used to treat the obsessions, anxiety, distress, and other associated brain disorders.
Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and specially trained primary care providers are trained to treat OCD. If your doctor doesn't have special training, ask for the name of a doctor or counselor who does.
Treatment involves the following:
Surgical procedures are not a treatment option for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2011.
Dougherty D, Baer L, et al. Prospective long-term follow-up of 44 patients who received cingulotomy for treatment—refractory OCD.
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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated November 8, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Stern, TA et al.
Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2008.
Treatment. Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation
website. Available at:
http://www.ocfoundation.org/treatment.aspx. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
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 medical condition.
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