While it is not yet known what the exact causes of OCD entail, we are aware that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be remarkably unbearable to live with. From simple things like excessive cleaning to not being able to withstand physical contact, OCD is a mental disorder that ultimately consumes you (as well as those around you). By focusing on specific minute elements around you, it can be very difficult to live life to its fullest. However, with the aide of this article, I hopefully can shine a light on the widespread illness and help you to discover ways of alleviating your consuming trait.
An Overview of Advice
One important thing to remember when you’re experiencing this controlling disorder is that overall, it can be beaten. According to the NHS website, there are two commons ways in which to help treat your OCD. This entails the use of psychological therapy (CBT) or medication (SSRIs). Depending on how severe your symptoms are, you may only need a limited course of therapy; however, if the doctors consider your OCD to be more severe (or if psychological therapy wasn’t for you), then you may be prescribed a short-term medical plan. As well as these professional options, it may also be recommended to seek out the advice and support from fellow sufferers, especially since 741,504 people in the UK are estimated to be affected.
Whether you suffer from mild or severe OCD, psychological therapy is one of the few options available which may help to alleviate or potentially treat your symptoms. Psychological professionals will often combine the treatments of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) in order to encourage the confrontation of your fears.
Beginning with CBT, your therapist will show you how your thoughts, feelings and physical behaviors are connected and how negative conduct and emotions ultimately prevents you from escaping this cycle. Through an education on how to understand and disrupt this cycle, you will be able to recognize the cause of your problem and therefore prevent it from affecting you. Usually, with mild OCD, you only require up to 10 hours of therapy; however, if your disorder is much more severe, longer courses will be prescribed with the possible intervention of other treatment.
ERP, on the other hand, is the more direct method of confronting your issues head-on. In the company of professionals, you will be exposed to your anxieties and further encouraged to explore alternative ways to react to your compulsive needs. This is frequently used in conjunction with CBT, as without it, it can too invasive and fear-driven for certain individuals.
If after therapy, you find your symptoms haven’t alleviated, then maybe medication is the right option for you. Once you have spoken to your doctor and they feel as though this is the correct course of treatment, you will initially be prescribed with SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). These will relieve your anxieties and hopefully provide you with a more tranquil attitude towards your obsessive compulsions.
If these don’t appear to help, then another option is the use of TRA (Tricyclic Antidepressants). As they offer a more invasive response – affecting the neurotransmitters in your brain – they are only offered as a second option to sufferers of OCD, unless you have had the success of using them in the past.
Support Groups for Your OCD
Relevant to all mental illnesses or struggles you may be facing, seeking out support from other individuals going through the same torment can be extremely helpful. Especially considering the number of people undergoing the struggles of OCD in the UK (referenced above), realizing you’re not the sole object of this disorder can be tremendously lightening to your mind. With around 100 support groups in the UK alone, you are guaranteed to discover the right community for you. Just ask your doctor or your therapists for contact details and they’ll recommend which form of support is suitable for you and your needs.
If you don’t feel comfortable with attending groups, you can also visit websites such as Mental Health and Money Advice which aims to aid those struggling with mental health and money. So, if you find your OCD is impacting the way you save and spend, you may want to look at some of the resources on there.
Alternative Support Methods
With 1 in 4 people in the UK suffering from a mental illness, we are all aware of how cripplingly isolated it can make you feel. This is why it is also important to speak to your family and friends about your illness and establish how they may be able to help you. With those, you love on board, a simple distraction when they sense anxiety may give you a brief sense of relief from your illness. The more people you involve, the less amount of strain is left for you to handle alone.
So, if you feel as though your Obsessive Compulsion Disorder is isolating you from your ideal lifestyle, then the best course of action to take is to ask for help. Although you may feel an intuit of shame for admitting your weaknesses, the only way you can go from there is up. Good luck, and I wish you the best recovery on your journey to alleviation.