OCD: A Balance of
3

1Education

The right resources will empower you. Get educated on the symptoms, science and treatment of OCD. In doing so, you’ll find the strength to share your story with friends, families, practitioners and the greater OCD community. You’ll also gain confidence to play an active role in your treatment plan, which is critical to your success.

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As you research your condition, you may be tempted to seek reassurance you are not capable of acting on your thoughts. Instead, focus on accepting the uncertainty of your condition and seek professional treatment.

2Healthy Living

Healthy lifestyle choices matter. Experts agree that mindfulness practice, creative expression, nutrition and exercise may have positive effects for sufferers of OCD. We recommend that you start by meditating for 10 minutes, twice a day. The practice of meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breath, observing your thoughts and choosing not to judge them. Not only will meditation help you relax your nervous system, it will serve as a powerful adjunct to Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy.

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Make sure to consult a clinical psychologist to ensure that your healthy choices are part of an integrated treatment plan. And remember that no matter what you pursue, you should never assign any meaning or value to your intrusive thoughts.

3Treatment

The path to treatment starts with you. And the proper path includes Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. ERP therapy exposes you to the thoughts, images and objects that trigger anxiety, and gives you the tools you need to prevent yourself from responding to anxiety with compulsions and rituals. When seeking professional help, we recommend you work with a behavioral psychologist with expertise in OCD and ERP therapy. You should feel empowered to ask prospective psychologists about their qualifications, expertise and experience in treating patients with OCD. If, for any reason, you can’t find a local professional in your area, Skype or phone therapy can be an equally effective means of therapeutic treatment.

Medication may also be a helpful compliment to your treatment. However, not everyone benefits from medication. According to the International OCD Foundation, about half of OCD patients taking medication stop due to side effects or other reasons. And of the OCD patients that find medication successful, they only experience a 40-60% reduction in OCD symptoms. To integrate medication into your treatment plan, we recommend finding a psychiatrist that specializes in the treatment of OCD.

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