Treating OCD

How do know you if you have OCD?

You may be the one to notice that you are bothered by something or that you have problems, but it may also be your parents or teachers at school who notice this. The first step is usually visiting your general practitioner. If he or she thinks you have OCD, you will be referred to someone who knows a lot about the disorder. This specialist will talk with you and perform tests to try to determine what is causing your problems and how he or she can help you work them out.

It is quite common for you to suffer more from things other than your OCD. You often feel sad, extremely hyper or gloomy because of the compulsion. That will leave you feeling restless or raise lots of doubts, which will increase the chance of you feeling gloomy.

Will it go away?

There are few people with OCD in whom the associated problems entirely disappear. However, treatment works very well in reducing problems for roughly six out of every ten people. You learn to understand yourself and why you feel so restless.

Treatment

There are different types of treatment:

For yourself

  • Psychoeducation: you learn about what exactly your problems are and how they come about. This helps you deal with them better and gain more self-confidence. You also talk about the advantages and disadvantages of treatment and what will happen if you try to change your behaviour.
  • (Cognitive) behavioural therapy: This kind of therapy focuses on your thoughts and how you think. A therapist teaches you how to bring an end to those unpleasant thoughts and actions. Obsessive thoughts make you feel bad and you perform actions to get rid of this feeling. These compulsive actions often only help for a short time and, in addition, increasingly more actions are necessary to get rid of this feeling. During therapy, you learn how to deal with these unpleasant thoughts without performing compulsive acts. You keep this up until the anxiety or bad feeling goes away. This is a step-by-step process. 
  • Medication: You may also be given medication. This medication works best if you also learn those things explained above at the same time. Your doctor will always closely monitor how you respond to the medication. When, for example, you are given medication that can make you gain weight, a tip would be to pay good attention to your eating habits. In other words, "Eat with your head, not with your stomach".

For your parents

It is also very important that your parents know what the problem is and how they can deal with it. Your parents learn, for example, how they can help you with some things or to sometimes respond to things in a different way than they did in the past.

For other people around you

Also take a moment to consider whether there are other people, like friends or a mentor, who would benefit from knowing that you have OCD. They may also be able to help you and better understand you.

Tips

  • go on a walk or exercise with your parents or a friend.
  • also try to do things which allow you to not always have to focus on your OCD.

Would you like to know more about OCD?

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