obsessive-compulsive disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears that signify an individual’s obsession with something that leads to compulsive behaviors. This may be observed in cleanliness, counting things over and over, fear of going out, fear of calamities, etc.
About 2.2 million adults or almost 1.0% of the U.S. population is being affected by OCD.
We have witnessed many pandemics, epidemics, social disturbances over the century. The prominence of these disasters can be observed in their after-effects. In the recent time of Covid-19, we are already deprived of our social lives, our work, our institutions, etc., and yet we are presented with its after claps like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, OCD, schizophrenia, autism, etc.
Pestilence like the Corona pandemic can trigger mental health issues, and hence people with OCD or anxiety fall into the severity deeply. In light of the current pandemic, the worries towards people with mental illness have heightened because these people are more prone to such situations.

Some traits and symptoms of OCD

OCD is a mental disorder that is governed by obsessive thoughts, compulsive behavior, or a combination of both, which is marked by high levels of anxiety and emotional stress. People with this disorder tend to be cautious and alarmed by their surroundings.
Though many, OCD traits can be categorized in the four following groups:
  • Contamination Symptoms
  • Symmetry and Arranging
  • Doubts and Harms
  • Unacceptable/Taboo thoughts
These traits can be well explained with the following examples:
  • A person with the contamination symptoms has an obsession with cleaning, which results in their compulsive behavior of sweeping the floor, washing hands/clothes repeatedly, etc.
  • People with an obsession with symmetry keep on organizing things around them. They generally count objects or arrange objects in a symmetric manner whenever they are anxious.
  • People with OCD have recurring thoughts about calamities, disasters, or a harmful situation causing harm to themselves, or others. All of this happens unintentionally and hence triggers their mental wellness.
  • People with OCD sometimes look for assurance repeatedly. They obsess over their feelings, which leads them to keep checking with other people for assurance.
A general observation is that people with anxiety issues are triggered more easily towards their OCD traits. Also, people facing OCD perform actions which they believe will relieve them; instead, they increase their anxiety levels.

Treatments and Consultation

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder for some people can be completely cured with the right set of treatment. Even if it is not completely curable in other cases, they may enjoy some relief through the various available treatments and consultations with an expert.
Treatment of OCD consists of self-care and therapy. Based on these two, there are many measures available for the treatment.

Let’s explore a few of them.

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

It is a non-invasive, non-drug treatment for OCD patients. It is particularly for patients who have not achieved sufficient improvement from traditional treatment options.
This technique has been proven to be safe and effective in alleviating the symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is a brain stimulation technique where pulsed magnetic fields are generated by a coil placed in the scalp. It regulates the neural activities of brain structures such as the anterior cingulate cortex, which has been proven to have a significant effect on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It does not require anesthesia and has no prolonged effects.


It is the scientific study of the effects drugs have on mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior. Certain psychiatric medicines have been shown to treat people suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Among the drugs tested, the administration of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) has been approved by the FDA for being effective in the treatment. Though effective, these drugs may have significant harmful effects as well. Hence it is advisable to take them in the presence or consultation of the experts.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. It examines the thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physical manifestations and focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and developing personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Imaginal Exposure (IE), Habit Reversal Training (HRT), and Cognitive Therapy (CT), etc. are a few of the therapies under CBT. ERP is the most common approach. It involves repeated exposure to obsessive triggers while the patients are barred from ritual compulsions that follow, which seem to provide them the momentary relief.

Apart from the mentioned techniques, few consultants prefer using more than one form of treatment for better results. The choice depends on the comfort and effectiveness in patients.

Choosing the Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

While a consultant is the one who helps a patient to recover from OCD, here are few things that can be followed by individuals to understand what kind of therapy they need. This can help them to prepare themselves accordingly and also to stay informed about every treatment that they go through.

Licensing and Technique

The person undergoing the treatment should make themselves aware of the medical experts that are treating them and the techniques they are employing. Following are the questions that will give a person an idea of how they should start with.
  1. What is their field of training and study of the medical health professional?
  2. Whether or not they have their treatment license, academic background, and qualifications?
  3. Has there been relief among the patients that they have treated?
  4. Whether there have been reverse effects of their treatment?
  5. Which technique or treatment do they prefer?


Selecting a doctor can be a difficult job as it requires building trust and a healthy relationship. Especially while dealing with OCD, the person needs to feel safe, secure, and open. Thus on this journey of improving oneself, recommendations prove out to be a big help.
Ask people around you or in your peer groups about consultants, medical professionals, and then go with recommendations. This will put you at ease and help you build a trusting connection where you can open up about your feelings. When there is a certain sense of security, it is relatively easy to get along with the treatment.


As it is crucial to find an excellent professional, similarly, it is necessary to look for an adaptable or accessible setting. The surroundings matter equally in treatment. It regulates the mood and emotions of the patient and hence works for or against the therapy accordingly. For example, if a person has a behavioral trait of avoiding going out because of the fear of germs or contamination has to be taken out of the place gradually to overcome their fear and treat the issue.
Following is the checklist of questions that one may ask while seeking medical help:
  1. Is the location of their office convenient and accessible to you?
  2. How flexible are they with the timings of treatment?
  3. Whether or not are they available in case of emergencies?
  4. Is it possible for them to have a session on video chats or phone calls if necessary?
  5. What are the terms and conditions for rescheduling or canceling a session?
  6. What is their cancellation policy, if one is willing to not continue with them anymore?
  7. Whether or not they are willing to move outside their offices if the treatment calls for it?

Treatment Cost

Generally, the cost of the sessions depends on the setting of the treatment. Hence, it is an essential factor to be considered before finalizing the treatment. If not discussed before, financial aspects might affect the treatment and shall be cleared before going ahead. One must know the following points before enrolling themselves.
  1. How much does the professional charge for the session?
  2. Whether their insurance can cover all the expenses or not?
  3. Do they have to pay for anything other than the sessions?
  4. What are the payment options available?
  5. How do their charges vary with sessions that involve going out of the offices or over phone/video chat?

Personal Rapport

All the treatment efforts may be futile if a person is unable to open up with the medical professional. The sessions require comfort between the patient and the doctor. Hence, ask yourself these questions when you meet the medical professional the first time:
  1. Are you able to feel at ease with them?
  2. Can you open up in front of them and be comfortable with the session?
  3. Can you reveal your personal self to them, as it is a major aspect of the treatment?
  4. Are you willing to get along with the chosen treatment with them?

Combinations of Treatment

After going with the mentioned process, a best-suited treatment will be found. But sometimes, you might be looking to incorporate another treatment with your current ones to suit your medical needs. Since not all the treatments are compatible with other ones, you may discuss the following with your practitioner before starting with the treatment:
  1. Is the professional comfortable with combining more than one treatment for better results?
  2. Are they willing to work and collaborate with other professionals to seek better improvements in the patients?
  3. Do combining treatments involve additional medication to be administered?
  4. What can be the adverse consequences of combining treatments if not done properly?

Adverse Side Effects

Most of the therapies do not include medication, but they still may affect the brain, and its cognitive abilities as all the therapies deal with the neural networking of the brain in some or the other ways. To mitigate the possibility of adversities, one must counsel with the professional and get as much information from them as possible.
  1. What are the side effects of the offered treatments?
  2. How can the side effects be controlled or minimized, if any?
  3. Can the patient’s brain handle the adverse effects?
  4. Does a person need a medical professional to mitigate the adversities?

Completion of Treatment

Finally, after the treatment starts, one must administer all the procedures carefully. After the completion of treatment, it is very important to know where to mark stop to the sessions. The sessions are to help a person through the transition in the adjustment to daily activities where their behavioral traits do not lead to compulsive activities. The prolonged treatment may render a person accustomed to the treatment and hence may affect them adversely. Hence it is important to understand your pace of recovery, change in emotions, and cognitive abilities. One must accordingly stop the treatment based on their need.

Some Key Takeaways

Mental health and wellness require a lot of support, along with the treatment. Patients look for empathy, normalcy, and a regular lifestyle while recovering. Especially in the difficult times like this of the pandemic, mental health has triggered people with OCD towards anxiety. It is thus very important to be informed and oversee your mental health and seek help if needed.
So, if you are facing a hard time while coping up with issues related to your mental health, don’t worry we at Clearwave Mental Health are here to help you out.

Contact us, we are just a call away.