Many people hide their condition and suffer in silence without getting the help they need because they are embarrassed.
Although it is unlikely to get better without help, OCD is a very treatable condition and can be managed using either medication, such as an anti-depressant to help alter the chemicals in your brain, or psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you to face your fears without using a compulsion to put them right.
CBT is usually highly effective although sometimes people need to take medication to calm their anxieties so that they can engage in the therapy process.
When speaking to a doctor or therapist, it is important to be open about your thoughts and behaviours as this will help them to offer you the most effective treatment. Depending on the severity and duration of the OCD, many sufferers have experienced depression and thoughts about harming themselves which is important to talk about with your therapist.
CBT encourages you to focus on the problems you are facing ‘in the here and now’ and to explore alternative ways of thinking through behavioural exercises.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is also part of the CBT treatment which involves exposing the sufferer in a structured and supportive way to whatever makes you feel anxious so that you stop engaging in your OCD behaviours.