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How To Treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

How to treat obsessive compulsive disorder depends on the depth of the problem. The longer the condition has existed, the more difficult and more ingrained it will be. The first step, however, is to identify whether you actually have obsessive compulsive disorder.

We all have certain rituals we apply throughout our day. They can include double checking the locks on your house or car, frequent hand washing, and little quirks like tapping your pencil three times before starting a test.

As long as they don’t preoccupy a significant part of your day, these rituals are meaningless. Double checking locks and whether the stove is off are good habits to get into for obvious reasons. Washing your hands after any event that can cause dangerous germs is also a good ritual. Patting your pocket to check that you have your keys is also a logical action.

‘Good luck’ motions are also okay when they are occasional and under certain situations. These might be touching your hat before striking that golf ball, tapping the dash of your car before driving away, or a some other seemingly pointless action.

What’s The Difference Between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) And Just Plain Rituals? The way to differentiate obsessive compulsive disorder from a simple ritual is easy. People with OCD tend to repeatedly do the same thing over and over, well beyond necessity. For instance, they’ll wash their hands once, then do it repeatedly to convince themselves they have cleaned off the dangerous germs.

The obsessive part of OCD is caused by things like fear of germs and dirt, fear of illness or injury, imagining being harmed, fear of losing control, fear of having aggressive urges, fear of immoral thoughts, etc.

Compulsions are attempts to rid themselves of those obsessive thoughts. The resulting obsessions usually can include repeated hand washing, counting, checking and touching.

In essence, they’re trying to treat their obsessive tendencies by applying compulsive actions. Another method they often use to self-treat is to self-medicate, which can cause substance-abuse (drugs or alcohol) problems.

Obsessive behavior like this takes over their lives because they never feel they are clean enough or that they have removed the fears. They spend so much time at the behavior that they make themselves late for appointments.

A child might feel the compulsion to touch or count every single post in a fence he or she passes. A common one is trying not to step on the cracks of the sidewalk. These can carry on into adulthood, too.

When the condition becomes a distraction, it can produce extreme distress and anxiety. Stress can make the condition worse.

What Causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? It has been suggested that OCD involves communication problems in the brain, which has been linked to a brain chemical called serotonin which controls brain communications. Insufficient levels of this chemical are known to be involved. Other than this, researchers cannot prove any known cause of OCD. They have established, though, that it can run in families.

OCD can resemble post traumatic stress disorder, but the difference is that OCD is not specifically caused by a terrible event as is post traumatic stress disorder. It is also easy to distinguish from psychotic disorders like schizophrenia and delusions because people with obsessive compulsive disorder are fully aware of what’s real and what’s not.

They also realize that their condition is not normal. This causes them to hide from society because they are embarrassed or ashamed.

How To Treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy At one time, no one knew how to treat obsessive compulsive disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy is now known to be the answer. Interesting to note that cognitive behavioral therapy is also now commonly used to treat anxiety and panic. This makes it the ideal treatment for people who are obsessive compulsive and anxious.

While medications to boost the serotonin levels will help to relieve the symptoms, cognitive behavioral therapy will cause drastic improvements in the long term.

Cognitive behavioral therapy involves reprogramming the brain so it becomes desensitized to those fearful thoughts and situations. It teaches the individuals alternate ways of handling the worries, fears, apprehensions, stress and anxiety in their lives.

You need to find someone who knows how to treat obsessive compulsive disorder. A cognitive behavioral therapy specialist should be sought because they’ll understand the condition and exactly what you’re going through and how to help you overcome it.

Every community has local mental health specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors who are training specifically in how to treat obsessive compulsive behavior. Start with your doctor and he will be able to determine the right path for you. It might be necessary to acquire his mental health services if serotonin therapy is required.

Here is one comprehensive program that provides complete instructions on how to overcome anxiety and related conditions such as OCD by using cognitive behavioral therapy.
Learn more at

If you found this information helpful, here are some highly effective proven programs to assist you in becoming the person you want to be. . Sylvia Dickens is an award-winning journalist who has struggled and overcome depression, panic and anxiety. Formerly with the Canadian Mental Health Association, she's written, "A Guide to Teenage Depression & Suicide" and offers several books to cure panic quickly and without medication, along with other popular topics. You can learn more at . Her travel magazine offers family vacation getaway ideas for fun and relaxation.

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