Making Peace with OCD

Posted by tlashkari on May 21, 2014

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a chronic neurobiological condition that has no known cure, but like many other chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes, it can be effectively managed with proper treatment. In fact, successful treatment of OCD is common and most people with it are able to live normal lives.

The keys to living with OCD fall into three general categories: Understanding, Treatment and Managing.

Understanding OCD starts with knowing what it is, diagnosing it accurately and learning about the special needs of OCD sufferers. While this understanding is crucial for the individual sufferer, its need also extends to persons with whom the sufferer interacts, especially those closest such as loved ones and co-workers. As with most things, the more you and others know about OCD, the less threatening it becomes.

Treatment consists of getting psychological and medical support for the condition from professionals who are trained Cognitive Behavior Therapists (CBT)  and are up-to-date on the best practices. OCD manifests itself differently in different people, so your therapist will work with you to determine the treatment that will work best for you. In many cases, a behavioral therapy known as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is sufficient to treat OCD, but your therapist may also suggest medication to relieve other symptoms such as anxiety.

Perhaps the greatest factor in living successfully with OCD is learning how to manage it. Your therapist will work with you to discover the best strategies for coping with how the disorder manifests itself in your individual situation. You will learn what triggers your symptoms and how to avoid those triggers. You will learn how to reduce stress, which can trigger or worsen OCD symptoms. You will learn that you are not alone. Millions of people have OCD, and they have learned that with proper understanding, treatment and management, they are able to make peace with it and live normal lives.

Another important part of managing OCD is finding a support system to help you cope with it. Family members, loved ones, and friends can all play an important role in providing support, but sometimes the best support comes from fellow sufferers. Your therapist can recommend support groups in your area that bring sufferers together to help one another in ways that non-sufferers simply can’t.

There are also several organizations dedicated to helping OCD sufferers and their loved ones. Beyond OCD is a non-profit organization devoted to better understanding of OCD, its diagnosis, and its treatment. Our web site has lots of information on the disorder, how to recognize it, and resources for additional information and treatment.

Beyond OCD is committed to offering OCD sufferers and their loved ones the latest information on the disorder as well as carefully chosen sources for treatment. To learn more about OCD and its treatment, visit our web site at It’s there to help you get the information you need to go beyond OCD.


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