Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects some 2.3% of the U.S. adult population but until recently, has been poorly understood and poorly treated. Individuals with OCD have traditionally been handed medication and some support, but otherwise left to fend for themselves, leading to a reduced quality of life. Without intensive care, 75% of individuals with OCD struggle to maintain personal hygiene and grooming outside of private care. And, individuals with OCD are significantly likely to have health problems relating to diet, physical health, and substance use disorders.
Yet, for the millions of people diagnosed with OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder isn’t the end. Today, we know that science-based treatment options like behavioral therapy are among the most effective long-term solutions to improve quality of life for individuals with OCD. You still have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life, to achieve your goals, and to succeed in traditional settings. You just likely need a lot of support along the way, and that support is readily available.
Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder uses a combination of prescription medication and psychotherapy, with the intent to control and reduce symptoms, and teach new behaviors and coping mechanisms. For individuals with severe OCD, treatment may also include permanent care in a home or clinic.
Prescription Medication – Nearly everyone with OCD is prescribed medication to treat symptoms. In most cases, this medication is intended to balance serotonin levels in the brain, which will reduce or mitigate symptoms. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs and anti-psychotic medications are the most common prescription drugs.
Psychotherapy – Psychotherapy is typically considered the second stage of OCD treatment. Individuals are moved into therapy after receiving a prescription, with the intent to help the individual learn new behaviors, develop coping mechanisms, and train themselves out of following up on compulsions. In some cases, psychotherapy will be recommended as the only therapy, or as an alternative after prescription medication has failed. While there are many aspects to psychotherapy, some of the most common include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is utilized to help individuals recognize and respond to behaviors, build new behaviors, and recognize triggers for those behaviors. This may be delivered as individual or group therapy, but most treatment includes a combination of both. It may also be essential in the cases where the individual also struggles with a substance use disorder.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – DBT helps individuals to identify and change negative behavior patterns and to create new ones. For OCD, this is useful in helping individuals to overcome obsessions and to create healthier responses to compulsions.
- Exposure and Response Prevention – ERP is designed to slowly expose individuals to triggers over the long-term, helping them to build safe responses to those triggers. ERP is widely recognized as one of the most effective treatments for OCD available.
- Habit Reversal Training – Habit reversal training helps individuals to identify and reverse repetitive behaviors, specifically targeting compulsions and behavior tics through stages including awareness, competing response training, and building long-term habits to prevent relapse.
- Group Counseling – Group counseling allows individuals to seek counseling for specific problems, while sharing with a larger group, and therefore receiving introduction to a broader perspective on their disorder and therefore their mental state.
- Complementary Therapies – Most OCD treatment programs include a wide range of therapies intended to build confidence, self-esteem, social skills, personal grooming, reduce stress, and otherwise improve the quality of the individual’s life.
Aftercare – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a lifelong disorder. It is chronic and no treatment will ever “cure” it. Therefore, any treatment program must include comprehensive aftercare, including long-term checkups, ongoing therapy and support, and ongoing options for the individual to easily move back into care following a relapse of symptoms.
- Care Homes – Some individuals with OCD require support and constant help. Group homes are a safe and reliable way to receive this ongoing treatment, while otherwise living a normal and healthy life.
- Ongoing Therapy – Most OCD patients should continue to receive counseling, either on a steady or an intermittent basis. Weekly, monthly, or yearly checkups are highly recommended depending on the mental state of the individual.
Get help today and start a new life.
Why Residential Treatment for OCD?
Behavioral therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are currently considered the most effective long-term treatment options for OCD. However, outpatient settings limit how and when patients benefit from therapy. Residential treatment, where the individual stays in a treatment facility for 3 weeks or more, is highly effective in treating even individuals who don’t respond to traditional outpatient therapy. In one study, 79.7% of patients who had previously failed to respond to outpatient therapy responded well to residential treatment. In combination with comprehensive follow-up and aftercare programs, including ongoing therapy, most are able to manage OCD symptoms long-term, without a major relapse, following residential treatment.
Personalized Treatment – Moving to a residential treatment center offers numerous advantages for patients and for staff. Here, the largest is that staff get more time with the patient and are therefore better-able to recognize specific individual problems and offer treatment. Staying at a residential care facility means that you get to know the people treating you and vice versa, enabling a truly personalized treatment program. This can result in changing the course of treatment to accommodate specific problems, behaviors, and personality.
Skills Training – Living in a residential care facility means that staff can offer more support, including more easily delivering skills training. This often includes mindfulness tools like Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Yoga, and Meditation. It may also include skills involving personal hygiene, self-care, personal grooming, cooking, or taking care of a home with respect to OCD symptoms. Living and staying with staff mean these programs can be tailored to cater to specific needs, which makes them much more effective.
Immersion – Individuals staying in a residential OCD treatment center wake up to a life centered around therapy, self-care, and skills. They are living with others with similar problems and have opportunities to learn more about their disorder from their peers. And, they are fully immersed in these activities for 8 or more hours each day. They have the opportunity to break away from jobs, study, family, and responsibilities to truly focus on themselves and their recovery.
Residential treatment can be hugely impactful for individuals with OCD, because it is effective, and significantly more so for some than outpatient programs.
Getting Treatment for OCD
If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, The Gooden Center is here to help. Our non-profit residential mental health treatment center offers comprehensive, personalized care using science-based therapy, and delivered by a dedicated mental health treatment team. Our residential obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment program is designed to offer every patient the best possible chance at recovery. Our Los Angeles area residential mental health treatment center offers a home-life environment, where we deliver behavioral therapy and skills-training, followed by extensive aftercare, transitional living, and job placement services to help you truly get back on your feet. We will work with you, your doctor, and around your prescription medication to ensure you have the tools to manage symptoms, reduce compulsions, and reduce the risk of a relapse, long-term.
OCD is a debilitating and life-altering mental illness, and we want to help you manage it and get your life back. If you want to learn more, contact us today at 800-931-9884.