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If left untreated, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can seriously affect your daily functioning, relationships, success in school, ability to work, and mental health. OCD is usually treated with a combination of behavioral therapy (counseling) and medications. Behavioral therapy can help you gradually confront feared objects or ideas, either directly or by imagination. Medications are used to treat the obsessions, anxiety, depression, distress, and other associated disorders.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and specially trained primary care providers are trained to treat OCD. If your doctor doesn't have special training, ask for the name of a doctor or counselor who does.

Treatment involves the following:

Medications
Other treatments—therapy

Surgical procedures or deep brain stimulation are recommended only for extreme cases of very severe, treatment resistant OCD.

References:

About OCD. International OCD Foundation website. Available at: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd. Accessed January 13, 2017.

Dougherty D, Baer L, Cosgrove GR, et al. Prospective long-term follow-up of 44 patients who received cingulotomy for treatment—refractory OCD. Am J Psychiatry. 2002;159(2):69-275.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114503/Obsessive-compulsive-disorder-OCD. Updated June 13, 2016. Accessed January 13, 2017.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml. Updated January 2016. Accessed January 13, 2017.



Last reviewed December 2016 by Adrian Preda, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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