The symptoms of OCD can be all-consuming and make it hard to go about daily life. While getting enough sleep and keeping your stress levels in check can help you manage your OCD, to find relief from your symptoms, the gold standard of care is usually a combination of medication and therapy. SSRIs along with ERP (exposure and response prevention) are one of the more common ways mental health professionals treat OCD.
Medication: Medication can be effective in the treatment of OCD, but it doesn’t replace the need for ERP therapy. The two work together to improve outcomes. Medications like SSRIs help reduce levels of anxiety as well as the frequency and intensity of obsessions and compulsions. People who benefit from medication will see an average of 40-60% reduction in OCD symptoms. Chat with your doctor to learn about different options for medications and to find one that’s right for you.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy: This form of CBT refers to the practice of confronting thoughts, images, objects, and situations that may provoke discomfort, anxiety, or obsessions (the exposure part), followed by the practice, making a choice not to partake in a compulsive behavior (the response part).