Sunday, November 27, 2011

Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

There are no available cures for OCD. In the past, there weren't even many available treatments for OCD. Today, a variety of very effective treatments are available to those suffering from the disorder. It is important to find the right therapy for you and to begin therapy as soon as possible.

1) Medical Treatments
Medical treatments are available from your health care provider to help reduce your symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. Medical treatments work best in conjunction with other therapies to reduce symptoms.

2) Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs):
SSRIs work to improve mood and reduce anxiety by boosting levels of serotonin in the brain. If you are suffering from OCD, it is likely that you have low serotonin levels, which may be contributing to the disorder. SSRIs are associated with few side effects and are safe long-term treatment for OCD.

3) Tranquilizers
Tranquilizers are sometimes prescribed to people with more severe OCD symptoms. Tranquilizers relax the muscles in the body, reducing compulsive urges. Tranquilizers may be habit-forming so they should only be used for short periods of time.

4) Psychosurgery
Psychosurgery is performed only in extreme cases in which OCD symptoms are debilitating and unresponsive to all other treatments of OCD. Psychosurgery has replaced the lobotomy procedure, which often produced unexpected brain damage and memory loss in patients. Psychosurgery involves severing or disabling certain parts of the brain with an electrode. Unlike the lobotomy, psychosurgery uses magnetic resonance imaging in order to select an appropriate place in the brain for surgery. More than a third of all psychosurgery patients report dramatic improvements in their OCD.

5) Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is an extremely effective treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder. It should always be the first-line treatment for OCD, especially in children. Psychotherapy can be done one-on-one with a trained specialist or within a group setting. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the only proven form of psychotherapy for OCD.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder is highly effective. It is a type of therapy that focuses on changing thought patterns by altering behavior. The patient will be gradually exposed to the obsession which causes fear and told not to engage in compulsive behavior. With increased exposure, the patient will experience less and less anxiety as she realizes that nothing bad is happening. After ongoing treatment, 50% to 80% of patients cease all compulsive behavior.

6) Inositol
Inositol is a naturally occurring isomer of glucose. It is part of the vitamin B family and is found in phytic acid, a component of fiber. When you consume phytic acid, the bacteria in your intestines release the inositol from the phytic acid. Inositol can naturally be found in nuts, seeds, whole grains and citrus fruits. But how does this help people with OCD?
Inositol has been found to work and help relieve OCD symptoms in much the same way as SSRIs. However, inositol does so without the same side effects, thereby making it an attractive alternative to conventional psychiatric medications. In clinical trials, patients who received 18grams of inositol showed a marked improvement in their symptoms, comparable to the results achieved by SSRIs, over those participants who received a placebo. While inositol has been shown to be effective in OCD sufferers who have already had a positive response to SSRIs, inositol should be avoided by women who are pregnant should.

7) Cingulotomy
Occasionally, surgical treatment of the cingulum may be beneficial to people who have severe symptoms and who do not respond to treatment. A cut is made between certain nerve fibers that trigger emotional arousal (cingulate gyrus) and the limbic system, which is involved in mood and intense emotion. About 30% of cingulotomies result in improvement. The procedure is relatively uncomplicated and is not thought to negatively affect memory, cognition, or intellect.

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