Treat the Treatable Don’t Try to Control the Uncontrollable: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and How It Should Be Dealt With | Teen Ink

Treat the Treatable Don’t Try to Control the Uncontrollable: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and How It Should Be Dealt With

December 13, 2019

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, commonly known as OCD, is a cognitive behavioral disorder that is defined as a personality disorder that causes those who have it be constantly involved in a seemingly unending loop of uncontrollable urges (obsessions) and insatiable consistent yearnings (compulsions). There are many different types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. A few types of OCD are Contamination OCD (cleaning and avoiding germs), Religious OCD (fear or worry of offending the religious figure or figures that the person effected believes in), and Harm OCD (fear of hurt someone, being hurt, or seeing someone get hurt). Although some people believe that OCD is best dealt with by controlling it, I believe it is best to seek treatment from a professional. I believe this because research has been done by multiple people that prove this, and because I have multiple personal experiences with how hard it is to control OCD.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is hard to control and can be treated in many ways. One way to treat it is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), especially for mild to moderate OCD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is social psychological therapy that concentrates on changing behavior and thinking through a goal focused therapy program. This therapy program is done through talking with a therapist and aims to find the very root of the disorder that the patient has
come in with (Martin). I believe that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the best ways to cope with and even cure OCD. Psychologist Dr. Allen Weg endorses this view in his article "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is an Effective Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder." Dr. Weg states, “the key to success (in the treatment of OCD) is CBT treatment”, a conclusion that backs up my view.
However, just because Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works well in dealing with OCD doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its challenges. There has been a great deal of research that shows these issues, such as a study that was done by Columbia University in August of 2019. A quote from an article talking about that study stated that ” ... some {of the most} common challenges in implementing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for OCD,{include} comorbid depression ( depression that exists with and is due to the presence of another disorder), poor insight, and family accommodation of symptoms in pediatric OCD”. Finding the right therapist is key is what many articles and studies done on treating OCD have made clear.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may also not be enough alone to successfully treat more severe cases of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health states that “OCD is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.” Though psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) can often help with OCD it doesn’t always work. Sometimes medication is the best route. As of now the most commonly prescribed medication is referred to as a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SRI). These medications may take up to 12 weeks to fully work. Commonly sold medications that are considered a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SRI’s) are as follows: Fluvoxamine, Sertraline, and Fluoxetine (
Some people believe that simply controlling OCD is how OCD should be coped with. However, enough research has been done to prove that wrong and I have personal experience with trying to control it as well. I can say with full confidence that control OCD is not the right way to deal with OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (specifically perfectionism OCD) runs in my family. My aunt has moderate to severe OCD, my mom has moderate OCD, and I have moderate OCD. We all try our best to control our OCD but sometimes its not possible, which is why I have talked to my primary care doctor about this issue and based on his recommendation will be seeing a psychologist soon in order to find a way to treat my OCD (I don’t know if my mom and aunt will be doing the same thing). I have already completed the first step of getting over OCD: admitting I have it, and realizing when I am in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions.
Treatment is, in my opinion and according top multiple studies, the best way to cope with OCD. Treatment has two forms that can be done together or separately, which are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and for severe cases, medication. My experience fits well with the research findings on OCD. I myself have tried very hard to control my OCD, but to no avail. Willpower may work for breaking a bad habit, but it is important to recognize that OCD is more than a few bad habits – it is a pattern-based mental disorder. If you recognize this, and seek appropriate help, whether it be therapy, medication, or a combination of both, then you should be able to cope with, reduce, and even eliminate the symptoms of your OCD.

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