For those living with OCD, the thought of potentially overcoming it can be almost laughable. Some days you feel compulsions so strong that you don’t think anything will ever help, but effective help is available. We’re going to talk about what OCD is, and what you can do to overcome it. We’ll also dig into whether or not it’s possible to cure OCD by yourself, and where to turn when you feel you’re ready to start overcoming your OCD.
What Is OCD?
OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a mental health disorder that is characterized by patterns of intrusive or unwanted thoughts, commonly tied to fears, that cause an individual to perform repetitive behaviors, or compulsions. These fears, or obsessions, and the compulsions that result from them can often be significant enough to interfere with daily life and cause incredible distress and even trauma to the individual experiencing them.
A common way that people with OCD try to stop the obsessions is by simply ignoring them, which is often the suggestion of those who have never experienced the disorder. Unfortunately, the only thing this does is spike the anxiety and distress of the individual. Often it can feel like no matter what the person does, the intrusive thoughts and urges always come back. This leads to more behavior rituals and more deeply-embedded OCD.
One of the most common obsessions held by individuals with OCD is germs. This leads to an irrational fear of germs, including avoiding touching people or objects and implementing rituals to help prevent “infection” like excessive hand-washing or using a napkin to open doors, handle phones, and touch other objects while out in public.
Can You Overcome OCD?
There are many different therapies and potential treatments that can be used to help treat individuals with OCD, although it is worth noting that there is no single “cure” available. Treatments may be successful, or they may not, or patients may find that treatments help with some symptoms but not others. Patients will need to work closely with their therapist for long-term, ongoing treatment and management of symptoms.
A common treatment for those with OCD is psychotherapy, in particular, cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT is a subtype of talk therapy and is often able to help OCD patients make progress. Another therapy option is exposure and response prevention, or ERP, which will gradually expose an individual to an obsession, like a dirty surface, and will build coping mechanisms for anxiety and stress, eventually learning ways to resist compulsions.
Medication is another important aspect of effective OCD treatment. There are FDA-approved medications that are designed to help control obsessions and manage compulsions. There are several medications available, with some being approved for patients as young as 6 and 7 years old.
Can You Cure OCD By Yourself?
A common question is “can you get over OCD by yourself?” While there likely are some people who have learned to live their lives while managing their OCD symptoms themselves, it definitely isn’t the most common solution. Getting professional help from a licensed therapist is going to be the only way to be sure you’re getting effective treatment and not doing more harm than good.
Partner With Casa Recovery To Overcome Your OCD
If you have OCD, or if you think you might have OCD, the most important thing to remember is that treatment is available and help is nothing to be ashamed of. Reach out to the experts at Casa Recovery to discuss your concerns in a confidential environment with a licensed clinician, so you can begin overcoming your OCD today.