Three Things To Expect From An OCD Outpatient Treatment Program

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often misunderstood. Some people think it means simply being a "neat freak," but OCD can be a debilitating mental illness. People often develop OCD as teenagers or young adults. Luckily, people can get better with the right treatment and medication. An OCD outpatient treatment program will give young people the help they need while allowing them to maintain their lives and responsibilities outside of treatment, such as attending school and work. Here are three things you can expect from an OCD outpatient treatment program.

1. Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy

In an OCD outpatient treatment program, patients will be given therapy. However, the type of therapy used to treat OCD is often different from the types commonly used to treat other mental illnesses. ERP is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that is very effective at treating OCD. ERP allows therapists to expose patients to situations that make them anxious in small doses, which over time, can help patients cope with their anxiety. ERP can be difficult to master, but it will allow teens and young adults to gain more control over their obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

2. Medication Management

Many people with OCD benefit from using psychiatric medications to manage their condition. Many of the medicines effective at easing the symptoms of OCD are also used to treat other mental illnesses, like depression. SSRIs can help people with OCD gain control of their racing thoughts. SSRIs are generally safe, although they can come with some unwanted side effects, particularly in young people. At an outpatient treatment program, psychiatrists and medical doctors will help patients find a medication regimen that helps them. Most SSRIs only offer full efficacy after they have built up in a person's system, so patients shouldn't expect to feel better right away.

3. Acceptance Therapy

Acceptance therapy is helpful for people with OCD. In most cases, OCD is a lifelong affliction. There are ways to control the symptoms, but treatment is geared toward management rather than a cure. Acceptance therapy can help patients make peace with their condition. Living with OCD doesn't need to be painful. Acceptance therapy can help patients understand that their intrusive thoughts don't say anything negative about who they are as a person. Having OCD is just like having any other illness. People who can accept their OCD at an early age are more likely to achieve better outcomes in the future.