Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder where individuals experience unwanted, intrusive obsessions accompanied by anxiety. In response to the anxiety, individuals perform compulsions in order to obtain temporary relief. OCD is a chronic, debilitating disorder that requires therapeutic help and/or medication to treat. There is not a cure for OCD, however symptoms can be managed and it is possible to live a successful and productive life with OCD.
Medication, prescribed and monitored by a doctor is an effective way to manage symptoms. Exposure Response Prevention therapy (ERP) is the gold-standard and best therapeutic treatment for OCD. There are many therapists who are trained in using ERP that can help teach individuals how to manage OCD and live successful lives. It is imperative to find a therapist who specializes in treating OCD. If a therapist is not using ERP therapy, they are not effective in helping treat the symptoms of OCD. Self help for OCD is not recommended before receiving treatment from a trained professional. While there are many resources to learn about ERP therapy, it is imperative to work with a trained therapist to learn and understand how OCD affects the mind and how ERP can help you manage OCD. Trying to learn ERP therapy on one’s own may increase anxiety and could potentially worsen symptoms.
Once an individual has received ERP therapy, it is possible to apply the techniques to symptoms on one’s own with future obsessions and compulsions. ERP therapy teaches OCD sufferers techniques they can apply to symptoms and practice with future symptoms to help alleviate anxiety and the need to perform compulsions. However, individuals may need to seek help from a trained therapist depending on the severity of the symptoms. Self help for OCD is not recommended if an individual is experiencing overwhelming anxiety and depression, or suicidal thoughts or ideation.
There are many tools and support networks available for individuals who are seeking avenues for self help for OCD after treatment. Therapy apps and programs have been created by sufferers to help others who live with OCD or are looking for supplemental help during or after treatment. Peer support specialists can help individuals through therapy and after to use their lived experience to support individuals working toward recovery. Support groups and online support groups can also be helpful for individuals to help them feel less alone and help with the stigma that accompanies recovering from a mental illness.
It is possible to provide self help for OCD after an individual has received effective treatment for OCD through ERP therapy. The tools and techniques one learns in therapy can be applied to other obsessions and compulsions that may arise from OCD within their lifetime. However, if anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation becomes overwhelming, it is recommended that individuals seek help immediately and receive ERP treatment to learn to combat the debilitating symptoms of OCD.
If you are looking for therapists and resources in your area to help treat OCD, please contact Chrissie Hodges at www.treatmentforOCD.com . Chrissie can help you find the right path to recovery by finding effective treatment and resources for OCD.
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