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Health and Fitness

Understanding OCD and Effective Therapies for Treatment


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder that causes people to experience recurring, unwanted thoughts and behaviors. People with OCD become fixated on negative, intrusive thoughts that cause them distress and interfere with their daily life. Fortunately, there are several effective therapies available to help those suffering from OCD. Please visit EMRGENT – Substance Abuse EMR Software for more info.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is the most commonly used form of therapy for treating OCD. The goal of CBT is to help patients identify, understand, and change their thought and behavior patterns in order to reduce anxiety. During CBT sessions, the therapist works with the patient to challenge irrational thoughts and create coping skills to manage symptoms. Researchers have found that this type of therapy is particularly beneficial in helping patients regain control over their obsessions and compulsions.

Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy

ERP is a form of CBT specifically designed for treating OCD. This type of therapy focuses on gradually exposing the patient to their feared triggers while teaching them how to resist engaging in compulsive behavior as a way of dealing with their fear or anxiety. ERP helps patients learn new ways to cope with their stressors without relying on compulsive behaviors such as counting, checking things repeatedly, or obsessive cleaning.

What Causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to Occur?

The cause of this mental disorder is attributed to several factors which include biological factors, behavior, environment, and genetic factors. Each factor has a specific way of contributing to the occurrence but there has been no definitive study to indicate the impact of its contribution.


This mental disorder is caused by interrupted communication pathways between the inner part and the frontal lobe of the brain. This interrupted communication system triggers the presence of abnormal concentration levels of neurochemical transmitters inside the brain. These neurochemical transmitters include serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate.


Some studies also showed positive feedback in telling that this mental disorder is inherited from family members. In a general population of people with this condition, 25 percent of it has a relative diagnosed with this mental disorder. Likewise, a study conducted between twins having this condition shows around 45 to 65 percent chance of progressing to this mental disorder. Another study shows a 27 to 47 percent chance of developing this disorder.


This mental disorder is most likely to occur during childhood (45 to 65 percent) considering it is the development stage of the brain and behavior of a person. In contrast, there is a 27 to 47 percent chance of developing this condition among adults.



PANDAS refer to Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections. Another factor contributing to the development of this disorder during childhood is the infection of the brain to a Group A streptococcal virus. Once the brain gets infected, it becomes the onset of this mental disorder.

Behavior and Environment

Learned behaviors as a coping mechanism for relieving stress from environmental situations or traumatic events during childhood is also a contributing factor for this mental disorder. These rituals or habits developed as a means of coping with the fear and stress coming from an object, situation, or traumatic experiences. If the bond between the object and the negative feeling becomes stronger, it becomes the onset of this mental disorder.


Antidepressant medications such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often prescribed along with other forms of therapy for treating OCD. These medications work by altering levels of serotonin in the brain which can reduce intrusive thoughts and improve moods. Although medication alone can’t cure OCD, it can be helpful in reducing symptoms so that other forms of treatment can be more effective.


OCD affects millions of people worldwide but there are several treatments available that can significantly reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be one of the most effective therapies for treating OCD as it helps patients learn how to identify irrational thoughts and develop healthy coping mechanisms that don’t involve compulsive behaviors. In addition to other forms of treatment, healthcare providers may recommend medication to further reduce symptoms. Exposure and response prevention therapy can also provide people with an alternative way to cope when facing triggers or stressful situations related to their condition.. With the right combination of treatments tailored towards each individual’s unique needs, individuals living with OCD can find relief from their symptoms and lead more fulfilling lives.


How Common is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the United States?

Several people in the United States are affected by this mental condition. It affects both the normal way of living and productivity level of any person. Here are some statistical data describing how this mental disorder has affected the people in the United States.

  • Around 2.3 percent of the general population is affected by this mental condition.
  • o 1 in 40 adults.
  • o 1 in 100 children.
  • Almost 2.2 million adults or 1.2 percent of the general population have this condition
  • o 19 years old: Average age where OCD starts.
  • o 14 years old: Around 25 percent occurrence of this disorder happens at this age.
  • This mental condition is equally occurring for both male and female
  • Two years and younger: symptoms of this mental disorder can be observed
  • There is an estimated 2.3 percent prevalence of this mental disorder among adults
  • Around 50.6 percent of adults with OCD have serious impairments
  • Among the adult population with OCD, 34.8 percent and 14.6 percent have medium-level and low-level impairment respectively.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Increasing awareness and education about this mental disorder is essential particularly for the family members and loved ones of the patient. Likewise, knowing the signs and symptoms is beneficial for the early detection of this mental disorder.


What Causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to Occur?

Several factors, including biological factors, behavior, environment, and genetic factors, contribute to the cause of this mental disorder. Each factor has a specific way of contributing to the occurrence but there has been no definitive study to indicate the impact of its contribution.


What are the Treatments and Therapies for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Healthcare providers mostly advise a combination of medication and therapy for faster recovery. The medications aim to cure the biological aspects of the disorder, while the therapy sessions aim to cure associated behavioral symptoms.


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