People with OCD find themselves driven by repetition and precision. They may feel insatiable, distressing urges to double- and triple-check things they encounter every day, like whether the stove is off or the door is locked. Failure to do so can result in severe anxiety spikes. You may benefit from OCD treatment if you struggle to balance your everyday life with these uncontrollable obsessions and compulsions.
Do I Need OCD Treatment?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness characterized by anxiety-inducing obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. People with OCD spend more than one hour every day pursuing compulsive tasks in an effort to alleviate their anxiety. In severe cases, the majority of someone’s day may yield to the whims of their obsessions.
There is no definitive checklist for when someone needs OCD treatment. That falls to the individual to decide based on their quality of life and the pervasiveness of their OCD. You may decide you need OCD treatment if your compulsive behaviors interfere with your daily life or your anxiety grows too intense to manage on your own.
Just as there is nothing wrong with needing assistance with severe instances of OCD, there is no shame in seeking help for mild cases, either. Everyone deserves to live a fulfilling life dictated by their own choices rather than the obsessions of untreated OCD.
OCD Treatment Options
Every individual who lives with OCD experiences it in their own way. For some, it is a debilitating condition, while others may view it as more of an inconvenience. To reflect such a wide range of situations and needs, OCD treatment options should offer equally as broad approaches.
One of the most effective methods of treating OCD involves psychotherapy, otherwise known as talk therapy. Psychotherapy comes in numerous forms, each of which uses its own unique methods and approaches. Below, we will discuss two types of psychotherapies frequently used in OCD treatment.
First, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular talk therapy that emphasizes the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It subscribes to the belief that they are all inherently connected, and by altering one, individuals can change the others in kind.
During CBT, a patient can expect to work with their therapist to identify unhelpful, negative beliefs about themself. Afterward, they may be assigned “homework” relating to how they can challenge and disprove those beliefs.
Another common type of psychotherapy used in OCD treatment is exposure and response prevention (ERP). As the name suggests, ERP is broken down into two main components: exposure, which refers to directly confronting the thoughts and scenarios that trigger anxiety, and response prevention, which involves making a conscious choice not to fulfill compulsions.
The idea of exposure therapy may sound intimidating. You may not feel ready to “face your fear,” or worry that you lack the ability to abstain from your compulsions. Like all therapies, though, ERP is a progressive method that gradually builds in intensity over time. It lets people address their obsessions and compulsions in a controlled, safe manner, and it teaches them healthy coping skills to use moving forward.
In some cases, OCD impacts the brain in a manner that results in a chemical imbalance. This can’t always be corrected by therapy, but it can improve with certain types of medications. The most commonly prescribed medications for OCD are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
With research showing they are the most effective option for medicated OCD treatment, SSRIs are often the first choice of physicians for a reason. They function by blocking nerve cells’ ability to reabsorb serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and anxiety levels.
By allowing more serotonin to remain in the brain, SSRIs can serve as effective treatments for OCD. They help to decrease the anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts. In addition, they boost overall mood levels and may provide individuals with a sense of stability.
However, as with all medications, people who take SSRIs may experience any number of adverse side effects. Some side effects are minor. Others may result in someone stopping that medication and trying something else.
Common side effects of SSRIs include:
- Dry mouth
- Weight gain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Sexual dysfunction
- Decreased appetite
If the first medication you try isn’t effective or causes you to experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, try not to consider it a failure. Finding the most effective OCD treatment for you can involve a period of trial and error, especially when it pertains to medications. Thus, keep in mind that it is normal to try numerous medications before discovering the best option.
Inpatient OCD Treatment
To see all of the above utilized in a single, cohesive setting, consider residential care. This form of OCD treatment involves patients living at a mental health facility full-time throughout the duration of the program. It offers the most intensive treatment possible and primarily benefits those with the most severe cases of OCD.
The Willough at Naples offers inpatient psychiatric services for adults facing medical, emotional, and behavioral challenges. We approach the issue of OCD with respect and compassion. Above all, our priority always lies with our patients, from their safety to long-term happiness.
Our therapeutic services begin by connecting patients with a mental health professional who can evaluate their status. With a team of other licensed physicians and therapists, they help patients identify their strengths and problem areas.
From there, patients partake in a variety of evidence-based treatment options. Our programs are designed to optimize recovery and expedite the return to daily living. In addition to the treatment options discussed previously, our OCD treatment plans also consist of:
- Multidisciplinary assessments
- Group therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Crisis evaluation and intervention
- Medication and wellness education
- Family counseling
- Links to community services
- Discharge and aftercare planning
Combined with the therapies and optional medications from earlier, our programs provide a full continuum of effective care. We set our patients up for success and stay with them to support them every step of the way.
For those with less severe cases of OCD, a partial hospitalization program (PHP) offers a similar caliber of care at a lower level of commitment. PHP patients participate in the same therapeutic treatment options, but they only come on-site for a few hours each day. Their ability to return home at night makes PHP a good option for those with overall mental stability and encouraging, safe home environments.
OCD Treatment in Naples, Florida
The Willough at Naples is a psychiatric hospital that treats a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, OCD, and co-occurring disorders. By providing a safe space to focus on recovery and self-improvement, our patients grow to overcome their challenges.
It can feel overwhelming to navigate an OCD diagnosis and treatment by yourself. Thankfully, you don’t have to go on this journey alone. To learn more about OCD treatment options, contact us by calling 800-722-0100 or filling out a confidential contact form today. We look forward to helping you live the life you want to live.