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Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Self-Help & Therapy Options
Therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder is divided into two components that can be used either individually or in combination: drug and psychotherapeutic treatment.
Certain psychopharmacological drugs can be used as medication. These include drugs from the group of serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which strengthen the messenger substance serotonin. These remedies, actually prescribed for depression, help to keep compulsive thoughts and behavior patterns better under control.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven to be an effective psychotherapy. In this, the person concerned faces, guided and accompanied by his therapist, the situations and stimuli that trigger his compulsive behavior. Through this targeted exposure, dealing with emerging fears and tensions is specifically trained. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder learn that anxiety and tension do not increase immeasurably, but rather subside after a certain period of time. This form of therapy requires an intensive processing of the fears and a behavior analysis in advance and does not lead to the desired success without the corresponding motivation of the patient. He or she has to be ready to face the fears.
In recent times, behavior therapy treatment has also been increasingly supplemented with mindfulness-based practices. Those affected learn to experience the here and now with all their senses and to live in the moment. Regular mindfulness practice can lead to improved attention and emotion regulation in people with OCD.
With the help of effective therapies, obsessive-compulsive disorder can be treated quite well overall - even if symptoms have persisted for several years, a significant improvement can be achieved. Although a complete healing is not always given, the situation can be optimized for those affected to such an extent that their own compulsions no longer dominate everyday life.
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