Top OCD Treatment Centers
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can trap those who suffer with it into exhausting and frustrating thoughts and behavior patterns that become all consuming in daily life. OCD holds a vise grip over the individual’s every waking moment by demanding constant vigilance over irrational thoughts and repetitive rituals in order to manage feelings of distress and anxiety. As a result, the individual becomes a slave to the demands of the disorder, which can have devastating repercussions across all aspects of life.
Top OCD treatment centers specialize in providing help for the person struggling with the devastating effects of the disorder, including the feelings of powerlessness that accompany it. Treating OCD requires time and patience, but when under the guidance of the mental health professionals at a top OCD treatment center the individual can achieve a sense of power and control over the disorder.
The most effective programs for treating OCD are integrative. These programs provide individualized treatment plans that are aligned with the severity of impairment caused by the mental health disorder. A multi-dimensional approach utilizes evidence-based therapies, holistic therapies, and possibly alternative therapies to create a comprehensive treatment protocol.
About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
OCD is an anxiety disorder that affects approximately 1.2% of the US adult population, or about 200,000 cases per year, according to statistics provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, with women more than three times as likely to suffer from the disorder. OCD involves two disordered features including obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. The obsessive thoughts direct the individual to partake in repetitive or ritualistic behaviors that can cause distress to themselves or those around them. In their mind they believe that the compulsions will provide relief from the underlying anxiety, when in reality it only contributes to it.
Examples of the behaviors associated with OCD include:
- Ritual washing of hands. This might involve washing the hands 50-100 times per day
- Extreme hyper-vigilance over contact with germs, including using protective gloves, liberal use of antibacterial products, and isolation behaviors
- Counting and/or checking certain daily behaviors, such as turning off a light switch or locking a door repeatedly before being able to move forward
- Compulsive orderliness, and feelings of distress when an item is out of place. Excessive need for symmetry.
- Constant disturbing thoughts about taboo subjects, which may center on sexual, religious, or violent themes
An individual with OCD differs markedly from the person who might have unusual personality quirks. OCD causes disruption in the individual’s ability to function normally on the job, in relationships, and in common daily activities, becoming an impediment to a normal, healthy life. Individualized OCD treatment plans can help make a significant improvement in the quality of life for someone suffering from this mental health disorder.
Science has not yet identified the exact cause of OCD. There is still research to be done that focuses on the genetic factors, as well as brain structures that differ among individuals with the disorder. There are some identified factors that may increase the likelihood of acquiring OCD, including:
- Family history of OCD, such as a parent or sibling
- History of trauma
- Childhood physical or sexual abuse
How to Treat OCD
To date, there is no known cure for OCD. Treatment for managing OCD will involve a combination of SSRI medication and psychotherapy. The antidepressants help rebalance serotonin output and levels, which quells the obsessive thoughts, and the psychotherapy can teach certain skills and techniques for overcoming the compulsive behaviors. Medications used in treating OCD include Prozac, Anafranil, Paxil, D-cycloserine, and fluvoxamine.
In most cases, a program for OCD will be integrative, meaning several treatment elements can be accessed to help treat all aspects of the person, mind, body and spirit. For this reason, holistic therapies are often folded into an effective OCD treatment program. Some of these might include:
- Mindfulness. When paired with CBT and ERP, mindfulness can be an efficacious complimentary therapy for treatment of OCD. Mindfulness trains the mind to acknowledge a distressing or intrusive thought without judgment until the thought passes.
- Yoga. Yoga can be useful for those who suffer from OCD because by following the commands of the instructor, which forces you to focus on the desired postures or poses, it helps distract from OCD symptoms.
- Meditation. Guided meditation is usually provided on audio files, YouTube videos, or phone apps, which methodically take the individual on a journey of the mind by suggested visual imagery. This helps reduce intrusive thoughts and promotes relaxation.
Types of Treatment for OCD
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be quite helpful in treating the individual with OCD. Using CBT as the foundation, treatment for OCD involves:
- Exposure and Response Prevention. ERP gradually exposes the OCD patient to confronting their obsessive thoughts without responding to them with a compulsive behavior. By practicing this exposure to the disturbing thoughts and practicing control over the compulsions, the patient will slowly gain control over both the irrational thoughts as well as the resulting behaviors.
- Habit Reversal Training. By practicing the tic or compulsive habit in the mirror the patient becomes aware of the physiological muscle or body sensation that is associated with it, and develops and awareness for how the urge develops. The patient then learns a competing response or intervention that blocks and reverses the disordered habit.
- Cognitive Therapy. Cognitive therapy involves training the mind to focus on the experience of the negative thought and to respond to them in new ways. By helping the patient change the way his or her thoughts are interpreted from negative to neutral, cognitive therapy can alter the disordered response to them.
- EMDR. Eye movement desensitization reprocessing involves using a stimulus, such as a light or a finger, which the patient will follow with their eyes while discussing their obsessions and compulsions. According to a study published in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, the clinical results using EMDR and CBT were comparable. This provides evidence that EMDR may be used as a complimentary therapy for treatment of OCD.
Alternative Treatments for OCD
Some patients may find that conventional methods of treating OCD haven’t provided the relief they are seeking. In recent years, some have found that brain stimulation techniques are useful in the treatment of OCD, either as a standalone therapy or as a complimentary therapy. These neurostimulation therapies include:
- TMS therapy. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe, noninvasive alternative treatment option for OCD. Currently TMS is FDA-cleared for treatment of major depressive disorder, but many practitioners have found that TMS has helped patients with co-occurring anxiety disorders, including OCD. TMS uses magnetic energy delivered through a coil place over the scalp. The electrical currents that result help to stimulate the targeted brain cells, potentially resulting in relief of OCD symptoms.
- DBS therapy. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves surgical insertion of electrodes into targeted areas on the brain. The electrodes are connected to a neurostimulator that works similarly to a pacemaker implant, except it is the brain that is being stimulated, versus the heart. DBS does present some risks, as it does require surgery and general anesthesia.
The Treatment Specialist Locates Top OCD Treatment Centers
The Treatment Specialist is a trusted resource for individuals seeking help locating a top OCD treatment center. The compassionate professionals at The Treatment Specialist are experts at assessing an individual’s mental health needs and then recommending an appropriate OCD treatment program for inpatient or outpatient care. For free assistance in locating the help you or a loved one needs for OCD treatment, contact The Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911.