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OCD Cure


Hello Dr. Scwartz, I am 26 years old and suffering from OCD for the past 6-7 years. But as I don’t like to discuss these things with some other person, even a doctor, it is left untreated. Initially I thought I would be able to overcome it but this is not what happened. Now this thing is playing havoc in my day to day life. I always check and recheck all the things and fill my mind with unnecessary details. Also I tend to avoid dirt everywhere. Now a days these symptoms are getting on my nerves and I can not get over it. Seeking your advice and help…

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD)is one of the anxiety disorders. In other words, it is an attempt to reduce anxiety through magical acts such as checking and re checking. It is marked by the fact that the person feels an overwhelming need to perform the repetitive acts even though they realize it is nonsense to do such things. If the person attempts to force his/her self to not do the acts there is an increased sense of anxiety and alarm.

Another characteristic of OCD is chronic doubt. This means that the person with OCD is never certain that they have performed the repetitive act correctly or completely. This is why there is the constant need to check and recheck. One example of this is the OCD afflicted person who is never certain that the doors to the house are really locked at night before bedtime. They must go downstairs and make certain that all windows are shut and all locks on the doors are secure. However, once they get into bed they are plagued by the nagging doubt that they may have overlooked a door or window and they must repeat the process.

Very often, the repetitive acts are accompanied by ritualistic types of thoughts that are also magical in nature and that are intrusive and unwanted. The individuals who are afflicted by OCD feel very embarrassed by this problem and do try to hide it from others. They sometimes fear they are going crazy. In addition to anxiety, OCD is often includes feelings of depression.

It is important for you to know that you are not going crazy and that it is understandable that you feel too embarrassed to discuss this with a doctor. At the very same time, OCD is very common and is very treatable.


For the treatment of OCD I want to urge you to see a Clinical Psychologist or Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is fully trained and skillful in the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) and Behavior Modification. OCD has been found to respond well Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, particularly with the emphasis on behavior modification.

There are some individuals whose OCD symptoms are particularly resistant to even these therapies unless medications are used.
While medications can be helpful, my experience has been that the behavioral therapy is what really helps eliminate the symptoms that interfere with life.

Therefore, to urge you to seek psychotherapy, particularly the types discussed and, if needed, add medication later.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

  • dr

    I have a problem and i am trying to identify whats wrong with me. I have been having trouble sleeping for a long time and i am also exhausted when I wake up. My problem is I have a urge that wakes me up and tells me to go break into homes, I fight it, I pray about it but sometimes I lose. I have enough will to choose a empty place and when i get there I just go in and go home. I am confused. I believe it's the rush of possibly getting catch that makes me do it. I can't understand why my will doesn't turn me around between point a and point b. I do steal from the places or ramble. I tell myself when it happens that no i am not going, I ask God to help me and even when I go through with it i ask for strength and forgiveness. This is getting me in trouble I feel blessed that I have not been shot. I pray when i go to bed so that I have goodness on my mind if I should wake up and the urge comes back. Most of the time when I lose the battle is when I am alone, if i am over my girlfriends house it doesn't seem to bother me. If anyone can relate or have any ideas of what I can do please tell me.

  • Jayne

    I know what you mean, I have had ocd since I was ten (I am now 23) and was wondering the same thing. If there is any way to get over it because it is effecting my family life. I used to love doing my rituals because they were a escape from the world but now I hate them and can't wait to finish them every day. I have the determnation to quit but still have dounts in my mind that if I do will I lose control again along the way ( I have lost control twice in my life when I was 13 and 18) I am also scared to change things since it causes dout in my mind if I have done things correctly or not. When I lost control when I was 13 I was hospitalised with depression and when I was 18 I spend all my time (9hrs of my day) doing rituals. So a cure is what I am also looking for. I live in Canada and am questioning things since I hate the suiside thoughts and the halusinations and deling with this along.

  • Dr. Charles Elliott

    What many people don't realize is that OCD is one of the most treatable disorders. Treatment works and it's highly effective. The specific type of behavior modification (referred to by Dr. Schwartz) is called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Seek a professional who has considerable experience with ERP. Some cognitive techniques are showing promise as well.

    Dr. Charles Elliott


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