There are quite a few options for treatment for OCD none of them are easy and they all have some sort of side effect but what treatment for an illness doesn't? Most of the treatments are therapy based and usually will work alongside medication but it all be determined on a case by case basis. treatment for OCD is not one size fits all.

Exposure and Response Prevention

This is THE gold standard treatment for OCD! ERP is a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy that involves exposing to the fear then preventing the ritual (compulsion) gradually over a period of time.

Whilst ERP is the gold standard therapy for OCD don’t be surprised if you see some other letters of the alphabet to treat OCD alongside ERP such as:

ACT – Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I-CBT – Inference Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (this is a fairly new concept, so you might not see it)

DBT – Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (this is only used occasionally and will be dependent on specific cases)

My personal example is: I couldn’t finish any food or drink through fear that if I did my mum would die. So, to stop this from happening I would have to leave about a bite of every piece of food on my plate and about a mouthful of water had to be left in the glass, if I did this then my mum will be safe, and this would be for everything I ate and drank.

The exposure for this was to take one more sip when OCD told me I was done, to take one more bite of the food OCD insisted I leave on the plate. The response prevention for this was to allow the intrusive thought to be there, and not engage in any other compulsion OCD would demand from me, so because I’d eaten an extra bit OCD would instantly demand I leave more of another food to compensate.

Exposures purposely bring on anxiety and you have to purposely let that feeling stay, you have to sit with the uncomfortable feeling, let the intrusive thought rage through your mind, let OCD yell at you, let the panic wave over you, sit through the panic attack.