Treatment Options for OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be hard to live with. It’s a disorder that makes doing the simplest tasks challenging. OCD is exhausting to live with. It’s a disorder classified by its unrelenting intrusive thoughts, called obsessions, coupled with incredibly powerful compulsions.

There are varying degrees of OCD, from the person that simply likes things lined up to someone that can’t leave the house unless they flick the light switch 400 times. Individuals with this disorder find it hard to function and report having a poor quality of life. Most don’t want to do these seemingly odd behaviors- they have to.

The good news is that this condition is treatable. Here are the most common treatment options available currently for OCD.


Individual Therapy

Psychiatrists often use multiple types of therapy to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is effective for many people with OCD. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a type of CBT therapy used to treat this disorder. It involves gradually exposing an individual to a fear obsession or object, for example, dirt, and teaching those individuals healthy ways to cope with the anxiety they get from being around it.

ERP takes a lot of time and practice. However, it is an incredibly effective treatment. Many people report having a better quality of life after they learn to manage their obsessions and compulsions. Therapy isn’t just for the individual either. A combination of individual, family, and or group sessions can be used.



There are certain medications out there that psychiatrists may prescribe to help control the obsessions and compulsions brought on with OCD. Antidepressants are usually tried first. There are multiple antidepressants approved by the FDA to treat OCD right now. This is good news because it means if one medication doesn’t work there are still more to try.

Here are the approved antidepressants for OCD:
• Clomipramine (Anafranil): For adults and children (10 years and older)
• Fluoxetine (Prozac): For adults and children (7 years and older)
• Fluvoxamine: For adults and children (8 years and older)
• Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva): For adults only
• Sertraline (Zoloft): For adults and children (6 years and older)

Depending on the individual and psychiatrist, other antidepressants of psychiatric medication may be prescribed. It’s important to always be honest with your doctor when trying a new medication. Tell them if you are experiencing any side effects, suicidal thoughts, or not experiencing any change at all.


Other Treatments

While a combination of psychotherapy and medication is usually effective at treating OCD it doesn’t work for everyone. There is currently research going on to look at alternative treatments. Research is continuing to look at the potential effectiveness of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treating OCD. This is only for OCD that doesn’t respond to traditional treatment. It’s still a new treatment option so if you are considering it talk it through thoroughly with your psychiatrist and multiple doctors so you understand all the pros and cons.

Contact us today to learn more about what treatment options we offer for obsessive compulsive disorder. We have a team of experienced professionals ready to help you. Remember, this is a treatable disorder and you can have your life back.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez