Need help breaking free from addiction?
1-888-993-3112
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Question:

dear sir, my name is ryan and i am 17 years old.i remember that when i was 15 years old i used to do things that were not practical,for instance i used to murmer my name about a 100 times before sleeping,i also had of washing my hands as i feared that they were always contaminated etc.but then, i didnot know that i was suffering from ocd.due to my behaviour my friends started deserting me.though this acted as a blessing in disguise as i started looking into this problem of mine and i tried my best to control this habit of mine.now that i am 17 years old i feel that i have totally overcome this problem of mine and i no longer do these things anymore.infact i have made a few very good friends and i find my past behaviour highly irrational.my question is that can a mental disorder like ocd be cured all by yourself or would these symptoms again reappear in my life.please help. yours sincerely, ryan.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

Ryan: 

I am very pleased to learn from you that you have overcome your obsessive compulsive problem. If you overcame it by forcing yourself to not perform the rituals that bothered you then you carried out a kind of treatment that some psychotherapists do. In other words, one way to put an end to compulsive rituals is to prohibit the patient from performing them no matter how much they may want to. This is a type of behavioral therapy based on the idea of blocking a repetitive behavior that does no good. There are other types of behavioral therapy including flooding in which a patient if forced to repeat the ritual so many times that they find it punitive and no longer wish to engage in it.

You ask whether or not the obsessive-compulsive symptoms can ever return? OCD is an anxiety disorder that results in attempts to reduce fear and tension by engaging in these behaviors and thoughts in the magical belief that the fears will subside. Unfortunately, there is a chance your symptoms could return if you are under enough stress and worry to cause a rise in anxiety and, therefore, in the compulsive behaviors. After all, life can have episodes of stress, worry and anxiety.

If you symptoms occur again it is possible for you to get help by seeing a therapist and even taking medication. There are medications that reduce the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder so that they do not cause discomfort.

Also understand that OCD is very common and, in fact, not unusual for teenagers to go through. It’s unfortunate that your so called friends were not more understanding. My guess is that some of them had similar symptoms but kept it secret.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

Close

Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.

Close

Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand