by Maddy Bray
Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, is an anxiety-related disorder in which people experience symptoms of both obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions are defined as unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses that cause a significant amount of distress or discomfort. Compulsions are the behaviors or thoughts that we have in response to the intrusive thoughts.
We know that about one in 40 adults and one in 100 children suffer from OCD and it’s known as one of the most debilitating mental illnesses that exist.
One treatment option that has been effective for OCD is a CBT-related modality called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). This requires exposing somebody to their fears and helping them engage in response prevention, which is essentially resisting the urge to engage in the compulsion. In addition to ERP, other treatment modalities that have been shown to help reduce symptoms of OCD include, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based therapy, and medication for those more complicated and severe cases of OCD.
Most importantly, those who are able to stay committed and motivated throughout treatment are significantly more likely to experience a reduction in their symptoms and an overall increase in their quality of life.
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