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, depression, distress, and other associated 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.
Am J Psychiatry
Stern, TA et al.
Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry
. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2008.
Last reviewed June 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
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