Genetics of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Narrowed Down

The first genome-wide searches for the genes responsible for Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder have uncovered a few clues to the underpinnings of both disorders.

Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by muscle and vocal tics such as eye blinking, throat clearing and uttering taboo words or phrases. Tourette’s often co-occurs with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental illness marked by repetitive behaviors and anxiety-producing intrusive thoughts.

Neither Tourette syndrome nor OCD are simple enough to be traced to a single gene, but two new studies detailed today (Aug. 14) in the journal Molecular Psychiatry find several locations on the human chromosome that may contribute to the conditions.

“Both disorders clearly have a complex underlying genetic architecture, and these two studies lay the foundation for understanding the underlying genetic etiology of Tourette syndrome and OCD,” said Jeremiah Scharf, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who worked on both projects. [Top 10 Controversial Psychiatric Disorders]

Genetics of Tourette Syndrome

In the Tourette syndrome study, Scharf and his colleagues compared the genomes of more than 1,200 people with the disorder with the genomes of nearly 5,000 healthy individuals. They conducted what’s called a genome-wide association study, scanning hundreds of thousands of genetic variants from across the genomes to see if any were more common in the people with the disorder.

They found that no single genetic signal was significantly different between the two genomes, meaning that the researchers could not rule out random chance as the reason for any given difference. But among the top genetic variations, the researchers found an unusually high number that influence levels of gene expression in the frontal lobe of the brain — a region important in both Tourette syndrome and OCD, Scharf said.

One intriguing gene that varied the most between Tourette- and non-Tourette genomes was called COL27A1, a gene that encodes a collagen protein found in cartilage. The same gene is also active in the cerebellum, a brain region important for motor control during development. More research will be necessary to find what link, if any, COL27A1 has to Tourette syndrome, Scharf said.

The architecture of OCD

In a separate study, the scientists carried out the same analysis on healthy genomes as well as about 1,500 people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Again, no one gene rose to the top as a definitive OCD gene, but the results revealed a good candidate near a gene called BTBD3, which is involved in multiple cellular functions. BTBD3 is very active in the brain during childhood and adolescent development, when OCD often first appears. It’s also related to a gene called BTBD9, which has been linked to Tourette syndrome in the past.

This first genome-wide pass is bound to turn up some false positives, Scharf said, so researchers will now need to home in on the intriguing genes in larger samples of people. They are also merging the two studies to look for genetic linkages that might explain why Tourette syndrome and OCD so frequently co-occur.

“The important thing this study does is that it really brings Tourette syndrome and OCD into the company of a number of other psychiatric diseases, which people have studied using genome-wide association,” Scharf said, citing autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as examples. “Now that we have these data for Tourette syndrome and OCD, we can work with investigators who are studying those other diseases to try to see what we can learn about what variants are shared between different neurodevelopment disorders.”

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Symptoms of OCD – How to Check If You Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that can affect adults and children alike. The most common symptoms of OCD are repeated obsessions or compulsions but the most striking of its symptoms is anxiety.

Obsessions are recurrent thoughts or impulses that are considered inappropriate and may cause marked anxiety or distress. On the other hand, compulsions are defined as repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person is driven to perform because of an obsession.

If you have obsessive compulsive disorder, you may have obsessive thoughts like fear of dirt and germs, overconcern with order, neatness and symmetry, preoccupation with checking or counting, or fear of doing anything embarrassing. It is normal to think about hygiene and being clean, but in obsessive compulsive behavior, this concern is too much that it often alienates people in your surrounding.

Aside from these obsessive thoughts, you may also have compulsive behaviors like frequent washing of hands, taking showers, brushing your teeth more often than normal, cleaning, putting everything in order, or double checking locks and switches to ensure that you have turned them off.

However, all the symptoms of OCD mentioned above may vary from one person to another. People with OCD who have depression may also experience suicidal feelings.

If you have children with this disorder, you may also notice them repeating actions until they find it right. These actions may be as simple as going to and fro, going up and down the stairs or rewriting their homework. You have to understand too that if you are dealing with children having this kind of disorder, they may also develop fear to go to school or leave home and the people they feel comfortable with. However, children with OCD may not grow up with this disorder as anxiety may change over time.

Other obsessive thoughts that are also symptoms of OCD include excessive attention given to religious or moral values or anything that you might consider lucky or not. You might also develop fear to cause harm to yourself or to other people and to lose things that you might need. Another compulsive behavior of people with OCD is collecting “junk” stuffs like old magazines, newspapers, or empty containers.

These obsessive thoughts are usually unwanted, and though they come from your own mind, they are often impossible to control.

People with obsessive compulsive disorder also have aggressive impulses, sexually explicit thoughts, or violent images in their mind. And these obsessions and compulsions really cause distress and significantly intervene with a person’s normal activities, occupational or academic routines, or even personal relationships. The disorder becomes disturbing because when you or someone dear to you has OCD, you may feel helpless and isolated. It may also cause you additional illness or discomforts like dermatitis due to frequent washing of hands, skin lesions caused by frequent picking of your skin, or hair loss due to hair pulling. However, the disturbance caused by the disorder is not due to the physiological effects of any substance or medical condition.

Usually, the onset of this disorder occurs during adolescence and symptoms of other disorders like autism and attention deficit disorder may also look like OCD. That’s why a thorough psychological and medical examination is needed before making any diagnosis.

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Research on Possible Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Individuals who are patients of anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder would feel woebegone when they come to know that different types of treatments have not been able to produce desired results. Such patients can get help from a stereotactic radiotherapy referred to as radio surgery. Dr Douglas Kondziolka and other members of the Pittsburgh University have termed this therapy as successful therapy especially in patients who have had severe problems of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

The process of therapy can be used as an alternative for other types of treatments in cases that are quite difficult to treat. Despite the need of study needed for this treatment, it has been used widely and has provided good results. The patients on which this treatment was first tested were a male and two females who were suffering from severe condition of this Anxiety Disorder. Two patients out of these three were found to be having 39 out of 40 points on the severe condition scale of OCD.

Even after a number of medicines, the diseased were found to be having same condition as they were having earlier. After being disappointed with other types of treatment they decided to undergo the sterotactic radiotherapy. In the therapy, ‘gamma knife’, a special instrument provides rays that are projected on portions of the brain which are the major causes of OCD.

Extreme care was taken in implementation of the treatment. The therapy had to be carried out only after the patients had qualified for sever OCD condition and only after it was suggested by a minimum of two mental health professionals.Another study recommends the usage of electrodes which can encourage the treatment in to the areas of brain which are anti-treatable by other forms of therapy which usually happens with people suffering from severe stage of OCD. Cognitive behavioural therapy and usage of medicines are two forms of treatments of OCD that are currently in practice.50 percent of the victims who underwent this therapy saw positive results and the severity of OCD were reduced almost from 40 to 60 percent on average. Only 10% of victims were found to have been resistant to this treatment and their condition remained same.

Damiaan Denys from Amsterdam University and other members tested effects of the treatment on brain of 16 victims of OCD whose condition was unchanged after a number of treatment sessions.Study was done in three steps. First step was to plant electrodes and after that patients underwent active stimulation for eight months after which they were tested for OCD symptoms every two weeks.

Obsession in Childhood raises OCD risks as Adults

Obsession and Compulsion in children has raised the risks of the same issues to be found in them in their adulthood. Research done on connection of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in children with risk of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in adults showed that young children who are suffering from obsession and compulsions have a high chance of facing OCD problems at some future stage of their life. Scientists, in their research, concluded that number of Children suffering from OCD symptoms was having alarming chances of suffering from OCD in their adult life as well.

Data was taken from the Dunedin Study from New Zealand. The research had started in 1973 and data was collected from people of Dunedin. Dunedin has been the individual location across the globe where lengthy problems related to psychology have been seen. The psychological problems have been seen to be taking place from the young age of a man to the stage when he becomes an adult. Data collected from a thousand people was used in this study carried out.

A set of attributes taken from the people of age 11, 26 and 32 was taken for the sake of research and studies showed that a number of ideas related to obsession and compulsion were found in these people. These signs included unwanted thoughts such as giving problems to individuals and washing hands from time to time. These signs also included doing things that were actually without any specific reasons.

The calculations done on the basis of collected data showed that the scientists, for the first time achieved the desired results and got the proof that there exists a relation between the presence of obsession and compulsion in children and adults. When data was collected from members of research at age of 11, the people who were suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder were found to have been suffering from the same problems at the age of 26 till 32.

Details of the studies showed that the boys and girls who were a part of studies were found to be having a number of symptoms that showed signs of obsession and compulsion at the age of 11. These children were more likely than any other children to be having obsession and compulsion issues when they reached at the age of 26 or more. These children were thought to be having about six times more chances of suffering from Obsessive Compulsive disorder when they reached their adult age.

Celebrities with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a brain-related disease which produces specific thoughts in people which they are not able to control and find themselves a victim to perform unwanted actions. The symptoms of OCD are numerous and this article discusses a number of them as well as a few celebrities who are victims of this anxiety disorder.

OCD is a mental disorder found to be in almost 2% of Adults in US. This percentage of OCD sufferers gives the chance that a number of actors and other stars would be victims of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
OCD has different levels of severity in different people. Sometimes it is seen in urge to wash hands, and sometimes these can be violent as well. Most of the OCD patients reported have been found to be due to a patient’s thoughts.

If someone most of the time thinks about germs, he will be tempted to clean his hands numerous times. If anyone thinks about keeping things in proper place, they might be inclined to examine the cupboards and their drawers again and again.

The main problem of suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is that the actions you perform are hindrance to your everyday life. Caring about germs and dirt is one thing while washing your hands again and again without reason is something that can be termed to as illness similar to other types of diseases.
The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not something quite negative and is commonly referred to as simple anxiety disorder and the treatment is carried out. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is only a hindrance in normal everyday life and you would not find OCD to be included in illnesses that are dangerous.

Celebrities have also been found to be a victim of OCD. Howie Mandel says that his success is a part of his OCD. He says that OCD allows him to be funny and without OCD he wouldn’t be like he is now.
The football star David Beckham has also been found to be facing issues with OCD. Howard Hughes from the Aviator has also been seen to suffer from severe obsession compulsion disorder.

A number of websites have reported Jessica Alba, Chalize Theron, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alec Baldwin, and Billy Bob Thornton but they are working extremely fine. Most of the celebrities and stars use the illness as a part of their act and are quite successful in their life.

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a form of anxiety disorder during which an individual might suffer from unwanted thoughts and fears which cause him to perform actions that are sometimes meaningless and most of the times unwanted. An individual suffering from OCD would try to stop the obsessions he is facing but he wouldn’t be successful in doing this.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder most of the times targets on issues and reasons that make a person develop a constant behaviour which, most of the times, effects his daily life. A number of factors such as Genetics, Environment as well as low brain neuro-transmitter level are thought as reasons of the major reasons of OCD. History of OCD in family, stressed life and pregnancy are also one of the reasons responsible for OCD.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been found to be the best in treatment of OCD in people suffering from the problem in Childhood as well as Adulthood. The ‘Exposure and Response Prevention’ step of the CBT assists a person in managing the obsessions and compulsions which one faces and helps in living an improved life. An additional therapy for quicker response is the Ayurvedic treatment which can accelerate the treatment process. People who seem to be resistant to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy have also been found to be treated with help of this treatment.

A number of Ayurvedic treatment medicines can be used for treatment of depression problems and reduce the obsession thoughts. Numerous herbal medicines can be used for the treatment purposes.Obsessions and compulsion are two acts which are thought to be due to disturbance in human mind, according to the Ayurvedic Patho-Physiology. Treatment of this issue can be a major step in the treatment of OCD.
The process of this treatment is based on a number of steps. These steps include massaging of the body with the help of medical oils such as the Mahanarayan Oil as well as the Mahamash Oil. There are a number of special procedures which are helpful and these include Shiro-Basti as well as Virechan-Nasya. Repetition of the sessions of using medicated enemas with the help of medicines such as Dashmool-Qadha, Sahachar Oil as well as Vishgarbha Oil.

The complications associated with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be numerous. These might include thoughts of suicide, behaviour abuse and depression or anxiety at severe levels. Patients suffering from OCD should be sent under the care of a Psychiatrist who supervises such patients.

Finding an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Support Group

Searching for a support group for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is one of the most difficult tasks. This gets even more difficult if you are a patient who has been recently diagnosed to be having OCD issues or you don’t want others to know your condition and the thing that you are suffering from.

An Obsessive Compulsive Disorder support group may be an important part of treating the condition which you are suffering from. A data collected in the United States shows that about 22 million of the people in US suffer from disorders based on Anxiety Disorders.2-2.5 percent of these 22 million people are victims of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. There are a number of people suffering from this type of problems as well as other mental illnesses and you should not feel alone. You really need to find individuals that can help you to handle the problem and these people can be found with the help of OCD support groups.

Traditional and Online Support
Two types of distinct groups are available which help the people facing problems of obsessive compulsive disorder. First one of these groups is the traditional group that can be found in the community around you. Another support group can be found with the help of internet.
Both of the groups have been found to be functional and offer you unique features that you might need to handle your problems. Joining a traditional group usually found in communities gives you the edge of interaction with others socially and allows you to learn the ways to treat yourself and work with the people who are suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.Online support groups allow you to stay attached with the group and interact with members of group at any time during day and keep yourself ambiguous to a certain point. The best thing is to increase the speed of your treatment process which can be attained from joining both the groups which are available on internet and in communities.

Spiritual Groups
Apart from the online and community support groups, there are a number of support groups based on spiritual treatment processes.You can take the benefits of interacting with people, gain patient education, coping tactics and much more. It is important to know that spiritual groups don’t include medical education.
You should consider the types of groups that are available and then you should carefully select the one you’d be comfortable with.

Music Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

In order to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), music therapy can provide alternative besides other more conventional routes.

For a cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), you will learn how to confront situations causing an anxiety, which leads to obsessive and compulsive behaviour, with the guidance of a therapy. A nice piece of music is often used to provide a relaxing atmosphere for patients. Thus, it is possible that anxiety levels can be decreased through music. For the CBT treatment, patients are taught to identify situations which relate to the rise of anxiety level, and to apply appropriate types of music to try and reduce them.

Music therapy and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Learning to play
Another positive method to reduce the chance of developing obsessive thoughts is by focusing on something more constructive, in our case, by learning to play a musical instrument. There are two advantages of learning this. The main advantage is to divert your focus and attention from your obsessive thoughts, thus increasing the chance of eliminating your compulsive behaviour altogether. The second advantage is the opportunity for you to develop your musicality, you could even take this up as a new hobby or even as a new skill, and even make new friends!If you are not so keen in music, there are indeed other available alternative therapies available, for instance outdoor activities or sports as a form of therapy, or through community work as a form of social therapy. There is no scientific evidence that these could offer an effective remedy to OCD, but they could also help to deal with OCD.

Hypnotherapy to reduce compulsive behaviours
Hypnotherapy is proven as a successful method to reduce OCD. It has the ability to help reducing anxieties that triggers obsessive thoughts. Hypnosis is applied in this technique, to probe into your subconscious thoughts to extract solutions to problems that trigger OCD. This would not be possible with your conscious mind. Through hypnosis, you are taught to respond to visualisation and suggestion by accessing your subconscious mind. This would provide guidance for you to alter and improve your behaviour patterns.
Fish Oils and Essential Fatty Acids e.g. Omega-3 relieves stress

Although still in early stages of research, omega-3 has been shown to have the ability to help relieving stress and depression that are known to trigger OCD. Scientists, however, are realising that omega-3 provides other health benefits as well, for instance: –
* Preventing certain cancers.
* Treating rheumatoid arthritis.
* Controlling diabetes.
* Easing menstrual cramps and the associated pain.
* Easing mood swings.
* Prevention and treatment of heart disease, including high blood pressure.
Although all fish have omega-3 from their fat, oily or fatty fish are specifically rich in omega-3. These include salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, kipper and pilchards.

Herbal Remedies for OCD
Although there is still ongoing research on the roles and benefits of herbs as an alternative treatment and medication, herbs have been used for generations to treat various form of ailments and conditions. They have long been recognised as beneficial to our health and wellbeing. For instance, St. John’s Wort, or known as Tipton’s Weed, Chase-devil of Klamath weed, has been widely identified as an effective herbal treatment for mild to moderate depression without the side effects of conventional drug medication or antidepressants. Other herbs, for instance Valerian, Gingko Biloba, Passionflower, Chamomile, Lemon Balm (otherwise known as Melissa) and Reishi are also widely-used herbal remedies for mental health treatment. However, it is best to find out in more detail from trusted sources regarding the best method to utilise these herbs safely and appropriately.

Music therapy is just one of many alternatives that you can apply to help you to overcome OCD and improve your health and wellbeing. Try to learn and harness music as part of your strategies to beat OCD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Counseling

Counselling is known to be a beneficial treatment for individuals having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In the United States alone, OCD is experienced by at least two and a half, up to three million people in the United States alone. Feeling panic and an intense degree of fear are some of the symptoms of this particular disorder.

High level of guilt is a normal experience for those suffering from this condition. Unpleasant, unwanted and negative thoughts are common emotions experienced by OCD sufferers. This results in a tendency to behave in an unusual, repetitive and even controlling manner. There are various ways in which counselling can assist patients.

Education
A person that experienced OCD suffers from an unusual fear. This fear could be of anything, which is trivial to normal people. For instance, fear of things from daily routines, any situations, or even fear of anything associated with the condition that they are having. One of the advantages of counselling for OCD is the opportunity for the therapist to educate and treat the patient on the mental disorder that they are experiencing. It might be possible for the therapist to be able to identify a specific or a chain of events that triggered the condition. Then, they would be able to understand the related symptoms. Patients can then learn of different types of treatments available and suitable for their conditions.

Identifying Root Problems
Many OCD patients experienced an incident in their lives that resulted in massive physiological and/or psychological impacts towards the level of health. Usually, through sessions with patients, the counsellors will identify clues, thus extracting potential root causes of the triggering of OCD.
In a mental health treatment, when a patient comes to a stage where identification of the root problems of OCD is achieved, then, through addressing challenges and emotions that the OCD has impacted in his or her life, the problem would ultimately be resolved. Sometimes, by talking about situations that affects a person towards OCD could help him or her to confront, and slowly overcome the challenges that he or she has to experience every day, as a result of OCD

Medication Therapy
When an OCD patient undergoes counselling with a licensed mental health expert, prescription medications might be issued to help treating depressions associated with OCD, as well as overcoming unwanted obsessions and controlling compulsions.Medications are given to patients to balance out the chemicals in the brain. Most OCD patients are found to have lower levels of serotonin in the brain. Proper medications to increase the serotonin levels are available.If you have OCD, or if you know of anyone who has OCD, counselling sessions might be a beneficial method of treatment.

The Risk Factors of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The increase of likelihood for an individual developing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety-based disorder, is affected by several risk factors. The exact cause of this mental disorder is yet to be determined by medical experts specialised in the field of neurology, psychiatry, psychology and general medicine. However, several theories that might be potential triggers for the disorder as a whole have been developed. OCD risk factors will be highlighted in this mental health guide to provide understanding of this disorder.
Factors that affect the likelihood of developing OCD are outlined below: –

Basic Statistics
Understanding the basic statistics regarding OCD is important before looking further into the theories behind this mental disorder. In the United States, it is estimated that once in their lifetime, around a quarter of the population are suffering from mild to severe anxiety.Obsessive compulsive disorder is categorised as a type on anxiety. It is also known as an anxiety disorder. Mental health experts established that anxiety disorders are much more common than any other types of psychiatric condition, although in actual anxiety-based disorder is lower than a quarter of the nation standard anxiety rate.

Genetics
It has been established that when an individual suffers from OCD, his or her children or the next generation are likely to experience the same type of disorder. Medical experts however do not conclude that genetics on its own will contribute to the triggering of OCD.It is believed that the triggering of this mental health disorder among patients involves correlation between genetics with other risk factors. The particular genes that specifically linked to this disorder have still not been identified. This is mostly because this condition is potentially developed by patients as a result of behaviours learned during his or her lifetime.

Personality
OCD might be triggered by an individual personality. Individuals who are not able or less able to react to stress in a productive manner, or having intolerance or a low tolerance for ambiguity or uncertainty, and those who have tendencies to be hypersensitive when handling with his or her moods and emotions are more prone to suffer from OCD compared to those having other types of personalities. This is one of the reasons why both cognitive behaviour therapy and prescription medication were chosen by many doctors to treat this condition.

Biochemical Imbalances
Biochemical imbalances occur in individuals developing OCD. For most cases, inconsistencies in the levels of nutrients, minerals and hormones occur in the physiology of OCD patients. People with OCD also tend to have lower levels of serotonin. Prescribed medications that will increase the level of serotonin are usually prescribed by doctors to treat OCD patients.

If you have OCD, you should know the factors behind this condition besides steps that you should take to face the challenges when dealing with this condition throughout your lifetime.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Intensive Program

It is not easy to recover from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Many sufferers question the effectiveness of the ‘once-‘, ‘twice-per-week’ therapy or conventional drug medication. In an OCD intensive program, patients are required to commit to specialised therapy every day for few hours. Patients will undergo therapist-guided exposure and response prevention (ERP) for a couple of hours almost every day as well as ERP practice of four or more hours between daily sessions.

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
Exposure and Response Prevention (or Exposure and Ritual Prevention) is an effective form of psychotherapy for ODC treatment. ERP is now a preferred treatment for almost all OCD intensive programs. It is recommended that OCD sufferers seek well-trained and experienced counsellors in ERP.

There are two components of ERP:

Exposure – Direct confrontation of the anxiety-produced obsessive thoughts (and factors triggering them) instead of avoidance

Response prevention – Temporarily reducing the fear/anxiety triggered by obsessions through abstinence of the compulsive responses or “rituals” that the OCD patient normally used.
Combining these two components provides effective OCD treatments. Research shows that applying only either one of these is not effective enough.

Applying both methods at the same time is challenging. This treatment is inclined towards anxiety-provocation. It is important for the patient to be consistent and patient, because the effectiveness of this therapy is usually evident towards the end of the treatment. Ensuring that patients go through this journey until the end is one of the main goals of this OCD intensive program.
What are the “intensives”?

At the moment OCD intensive programs are categorised into inpatient and outpatient. Both contribute to daily ERP therapy and provide support, guidance and practice compared to the standard therapy program. However, there are distinct differences.

For the inpatient (hospital-based) program, the patient is required to live in the treatment facility. The ERP is carried out inside the facility with necessary support and treatment provided by medical experts. Other treatment programs are also available to complement ERP, for instance medication management, anger management training, life-skills group therapy or psychiatry/counselling service.

There are some inpatient programs that provide family therapy, where family involvement is considered essential in addressing the OCD issues. There are also other ERP options which consider gentler and more gradual approach. This might be particularly useful to treat more fragile OCD patients, to help them prepare mentally and physically. However, this approach is slower, thus takes longer to complete, probably months, compared to the normal ERP therapy which usually takes a few weeks.

The disadvantage of the inpatient program is that it is expensive, it has more restrictions, and it does not really offer real-world exposures. However, the additional services, the systematic and effective structure and support and guidance offered made it a popular choice to some OCD patients.

The outpatient option, on the contrary, takes a lot quicker, usually within 3-4 weeks, where patients were given schedule to undergo the treatment. These include attending the ERP therapy sessions at the therapist’s office and daily practice on the exposure and response prevention. The main idea is to provide quick but efficient service to the patient, ideal for patients who cannot afford to spend much for the treatment.
Dr Edna Foa and her colleagues at the Centre for Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) are the leading pioneers in this outpatient OCD intensive program. Patients undergoing CTSA intensive are required to start off the first day of treatment by undergoing total abstinence from their OCD rituals, so that by the sixth session, they are ready to tackle their major rituals or fears. Over the next weeks, patients are used to confronting their behaviours and are less distressed by them. This is a more manageable and systematic treatment.

Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

It is not easy to deal with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It affects not only the sufferers, but also everyone around them. Due to the psychological nature of this disorder, a person with OCD is often ashamed to admit his or her illness, which makes it more difficult to seek help. It is even more difficult for those around him or her in dealing this because of the complexity of its nature, difficult to understand and to find help and solution.

OCD is often being dismissed by the public as a bad habit. Some might also think that it is something to be ashamed of. Someone with OCD who must count one to five, for eight times before entering a building, for example, might seem normal to him or her, but to others this is clearly bizarre.

There are concerns that need serious considerations. Firstly, it requires careful attention, due to the fact that it is indeed a ‘disorder’. Secondly, the well-being of OCD sufferers should be the main priority, as those left untreated often triggers acute depressions. Finally, self-injuries are often the result of uncontrollable rituals or compulsions associated with OCD, which is why this needs to be treated in an early stage.
In general, there are two methods to deal with OCD. The first is via medications. The second method is what is known as a cognitive behaviour therapy.

Drug treatment is a short-term solution for OCD. Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft are often given to OCD sufferers for a certain period or on an ongoing basis. The side effects of this treatment are the main argument for those who opposed this medication-based treatment. A person with OCD will depend on this medication throughout his or her life. It also does not really tackle the behavioural aspects, which is the core of this disorder.
Cognitive behaviour therapy aims in behaviour modifications. Building a strong mental and emotional drive to manage the obsessions and compulsions is the main purpose of this treatment. Behaviour therapy challenges a person’s endurance and patience, which is why the treatment takes longer than the conventional drug treatments. Besides, behaviour therapy treats actions of a person’s responses as a whole.

It is worth noting that in behaviour modification, there is no single method. In each therapy program, patients are treated individually according to specific needs and response capabilities. Thus, frequent visits to doctors are required to ensure that proper progress examinations are carried out, outlining specific behavioural techniques to tackle the OCD.