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Typically, OCD starts to develop in later childhood or during adolescence. OCD tends to be distressing because the person may realize that her symptoms are impairing her life but still feels compelled to do her compulsions, says Scott Krakower, DO, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York. Pinto says. The goal of this treatment is not to limit having the intrusive thoughts, but instead to learn, over time, to be open to them and not react to them in fear.

Understanding and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Both in session and through homework assignments, the person learns to notice and acknowledge the intrusive thoughts without responding with compulsions and, through this process, the person reclaims her life since her routine and functioning are no longer disrupted. These individuals tend to be overly controlling of their environments or relationships, wanting others to conform to the strict rules they set. This personality disorder includes maladaptive traits and behaviors, including perfectionism that interferes with completing tasks, rigid following of moral or ethical codes, hoarding behaviors, and an excessive fixation with lists and rules.

OCD vs OCPD: Symptoms and Treatments

A person with OCPD can be successful in work life, he says. The individual with OCPD is preoccupied with perfectionism at the expensive of openness, flexibility, and efficiency, Dr. Krakower says. Treating OCPD may involve a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and mindfulness techniques.


The SSRIs may be helpful because they can make the person feel less distressed and bogged down by minor things. In the process, we also aim to reduce self-criticism and broaden how the person evaluates herself to be based on various life areas rather than being just based on achievement. General anxiety, and the fear over consequences that will result from not acting out compulsions, is at the root of OCD, so reducing stress and anxiety is key.

Ongoing social support from family, friends or a professional therapist all seem to play a big role in helping someone to overcome OCD and prevent recurrences, since relationships and connections function as natural stress relievers. Find people you can reach out to when facing challenges, which makes long-term recovery more manageable.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment Program Options

From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Click here to learn more about the webinar. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world In people with OCD, this filter seems to be malfunctioning, so they are much more effected by perceived threats or fearful thoughts and have a harder time telling the difference.

Why does this break in normal brain circuits develop?

From the Experts

Some researchers speculate that a combination of genetics, inflammation within the brain, and anxiety-provoking experiences especially at a young age contribute to abnormal brain processing that leads to OCD. Therapeutic techniques that interrupt fear-based thoughts, shed light on compulsions and reduce anxiety help to restore the normal brain circuit described above and, therefore, lower the need for compulsions.

Reducing Anxiety General anxiety, and the fear over consequences that will result from not acting out compulsions, is at the root of OCD, so reducing stress and anxiety is key. Taking supplements like adaptogen herbs to lower cortisol can also be helpful. It also ramps up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying and ruminating. Seven to nine hours of sleep per night is needed by most adults to help manage stress, balance hormones, prevent fatigue and control their moods.

Meditation: A study that was published in the Journal of Mental And Nervous Diseases found that meditation and mindfulness practices helped significantly improve OCD symptoms completely naturally within a short time frame. Participants with OCD symptoms received either mindfulness training or were put on a waiting list.

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The meditation group attended eight group meetings teaching meditative breathing, body scan, and mindful daily living tips. The results found that mindfulness intervention reduced OCD symptoms in the majority of participants and can serve as an effective, safe and low-cost alternative therapy for OCD.

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