Living with a mental illness isn’t easy. Most people have the insinuation that like a physical ailment, mental issues can be cured by taking some pills or undergoing a series of therapy sessions. However, that’s not always the case.
Recuperating from a mental issue is extremely difficult and takes constant hard work which is often laborious.
In this blog post, we cover different aspects of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), how it impacts your lifestyle, and OCD treatments you can consider to minimize the repercussions and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD is a mental illness characterized by recurring thoughts or sensations (obsessions) that drive an individual to do something repetitively (called compulsions). People may or may not have both obsessions and compulsions together.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects an individual’s thoughts and behavior. In this condition, the individual has repetitive, intrusive thoughts that are distressing in nature. Obsessions are often accompanied by compulsions or ritualistic mental acts or behavior which can cause great anguish if the individual doesn’t act on them.
Individuals who suffer from OCD are usually aware of their impulsive and repetitive thoughts. However, controlling their obsession, or resisting the unwanted compulsion becomes difficult for them.
To date, no particular reason has been identified that could explain the cause of OCD in individuals. However, medical experts believe it happens due to a blend of behavioral, cognitive, and environmental factors.
If we talk about the symptoms, it’s further categorised into two parts based on whether the individual is encountering an obsession or a compulsion.
In the case of obsession, common symptoms include:
In the case of compulsions, symptoms are:
The repetitive behaviors can be something like cleaning something several times after suspecting it is dirty, checking on things every minute or having an obsessive thought about why a particular color is good, and others are bad, etc. In general, everybody has habits that they do repeatedly, but in OCD, these persistent thoughts or habits are extremely rigid and difficult to stop.
It’s a fact that the advancement of medical science has allowed and made it easier for health practitioners to diagnose and treat OCD. There are multiple OCD treatment centers in India including Cadabams. However, before we discuss why Cadabams, let’s talk about different treatment steps that can help you minimize the repercussions of OCD and bring down the symptoms.
The two main OCD treatment options are psychotherapy and medications. Often, treatment is most effective with a combination of these.
Here are a few OCD Treatment options available for you:
This therapy focuses on the individual’s thoughts and behavior. Here, the assumption is that our thoughts directly influence our behavior, hence the focus of CBT is to identify the unhelpful thoughts, break it down, and try to bring a change in them.
The right implementation of CBT can help you treat a wide range of medical conditions like – anger issues, anxiety, bipolar disorder, problems with personality, and even stress.
ERP is a type of CBT. It takes advantage of a natural process called habituation. Habituation occurs when an individual stops responding to a stimulus like a thought/place/ person or action with continuous exposure.
One of the effective OCD treatments in India, ERP is a two-step process where, in the first step, the individual is asked to determine their fears and arrange them in a hierarchy. In the second step, they are gradually exposed to these fears starting from the least intense one. With controlled exposure and the guidance of the therapist, the individual learns not to respond to it like they usually do.
The assumption here is that obsessions affect an individual until the compulsion is carried out. Hence, the individual is not allowed to carry out the compulsion with the expectation that the obsession would, with repetitive exposure, become habitual.
Medications are also prescribed to individuals with OCD; it helps reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. People who suffer from OCD also show symptoms of depression in them. In these cases, antidepressants are also prescribed.
The general goal behind choosing medication is to effectively control the obsessions and compulsions of OCD and its symptoms by administering the lowest possible dosage. Hence, your doctor will usually try out several drugs to come up with a medication program that works well for you and effectively reduce the frequency and severity of OCD symptoms.
Some popular medications that have proven their efficiency and affect the level of serotonin include – Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Anafranil (clomipramine), and Luvox (fluvoxamine).
Depending on your symptoms, they might also prescribe more than one medication. Medications can take weeks or even months before one could see an improvement in symptoms.
These are surgeries done in the brain. Psychosurgery is only recommended when none of the therapies or medications shows any improvement. Although seen in very rare cases, psychosurgeries can help alleviate OCD effectively.
Both Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) and Exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy are perfect examples of psychotherapy treatment often implemented by medical practitioners.
Known as ECT. This therapy involves passing an electric current through the brain; this brings about a change in the brain chemicals which in turn brings a change in behavior. ECT is also recommended when therapies do not work and are done only under professional supervision.
Though medical or clinical research has yet to be done, experts consider Ashwagandha to be one of the best natural treatments for OCD in India. It’s primarily because it balances the brain chemistry, improves your resilience to stress and stimulates BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), and reduces your compulsive urges.
There aren’t any cures for OCD, but individuals can manage how the symptoms of OCD affect their lives. Although CBT, medications, and other treatment methods mentioned above have offered strong evidence of being the best OCD treatments in India, in some treatment-resistant cases, a more intensive level of care or other options may be offered.
There are residential facilities available for individuals who are not able to control their behavior on their own. In these extreme cases, an individual’s behavior can become life-threatening. Residential treatment provides therapies under the supervision of a professional team of both psychiatrists and psychologists. Comprehensive outpatient programs have also proven quite helpful for people suffering from severe OCD symptoms. Such programs can last for several weeks.
Deep brain stimulation has been approved by the FDA to be used for treating OCD in individuals who didn’t respond well to the traditional treatment methods. Besides, they have to be over 18 years of age to be able to receive the treatment. In deep brain stimulation, electrodes are implanted within certain regions of the brain. The electrical impulses produced by these electrodes may help to manage the abnormal impulses.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been clinically proven to reduce OCD symptoms. TMS therapy for OCD is usually given to individuals in the age group of 22 to 68 years when traditional treatment approaches don’t yield effective results.
It is a non-invasive procedure in which the nerve cells of the brain are subjected to a magnetic field from an electromagnetic coil to stimulate them and improve the condition. During the procedure, the coil is placed against the scalp near the forehead of the individual.
If you are considering any of the intensive care procedures, it is recommended to talk to your doctor about all the pros and cons and possible health risks before going for them.
Are you still on the lookout for the best treatment for OCD in India or trying to learn more about OCD? Give us a call on +919611194949.