Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder | Treatment

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How is OCD treated?

Combining therapy with medication is usually considered the most effective way to treat OCD.

Several medicines are available to treat OCD. These medicines are also often used to treat depression and include: clomipramine, fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine and fluvoxamine. These drugs can cause side effects such as dry mouth, nausea and drowsiness. Sometimes they also have sexual side effects. It may be several weeks before you see an improvement in your behavior.

Under the guidance of a trained therapist, behavioral therapy can also be used to treat OCD. In behavioral therapy, people face situations that cause or trigger their obsessions and anxiety. Then they are encouraged not to perform the rituals that usually help control their nervous feelings. For example, a person who is obsessed with germs might be encouraged to use a public toilet and wash his or her hands just once. To use this method, a person who has OCD must be able to tolerate the high levels of anxiety that can result from the experience.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 04/94

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