New Treatments for OCD

Friday, 25 Mar 2011 12:12 PM

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Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD is a disorder that causes people to enact rituals to help control their anxiety that is caused by persistent thoughts. Many people who have OCD typically only have one of two compulsive behaviors, although it isn't impossible for someone to have such severe OCD that they cannot function in a real world environment.

OCD can take on many forms. There are those people who clean, who organize, who color code everything, and so on. There are also those individuals whose OCD causes them to injure themselves, this form of self-mutilation has recently been categorized in the OCD area when accompanied by other OCD symptoms. The point of this is that you can't be sure whether or not your compulsive style behavior is OCD until you see a psychiatrist and have it diagnosed.

Unfortunately, there aren't any new treatments for OCD. In fact, there aren't many medical treatments for OCD at all. This type of disorder is hard to diagnose and difficult to treat.

The most common drug treatments for OCD are serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tranquilizers.

If this doesn't seem like much, you're right, most other mental health disorders have dozens of drugs available for treatment, but OCD is still a mystery in this field. However, most patients do find that they will respond to some degree to the serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Therapy is always recommended for people with OCD. People with severe cases, however, often refuse to see a therapist or require the therapist to come to their home because they cannot face the idea of visiting them elsewhere.

In 2009 a new treatment was developed called Medronic's Reclaim Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy. This treatment isn't for everyone, only people who have no success with serotonin reuptake inhibitors are able to try this treatment.

DBS Therapy is a device that is surgically implanted in the brain. It releases electrical pulses in the brain targeting the areas that cause the OCD behaviors. Most patients who get this treatment respond to some degree but the procedure is dangerous and side effects can be life threatening. It is only approved for those with severe OCD and who don't respond to serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

OCD is about controlling a situation that usually can't be controlled. The good news is that most people can get help from therapy and the use of the right combination of medication and support.

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