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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Do I Need OCD Treatment? Can OCD Go Away Without It?

by Dr. Craig April, Psychologist and Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

Can OCD go away or get better without treatment?  The simple answer: No.  However, I think this question demands a longer response because once the proper techniques are learned, one can then treat themselves.

OCD has two major components: obsessions/compulsions and fear.

Obsessions and compulsions are intertwined.  Obsessions are repetitive thoughts that are unreasonable, disturbing in nature and difficult to stop.  Compulsions are behaviors or mental rituals designed to reduce anxiety caused by obsessions.  In order to reduce obsessions, one must ultimately face fear and anxiety without engaging in compulsions.  This is far easier to do with the proper tools and techniques taught by OCD and anxiety doctors or specialists.

That said, OCD and anxiety can wax and wane for long term sufferers.  In other words, sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse.  Without treatment though, it's very difficult to free yourself from its grip.  Prior to seeking OCD treatment, people try many solitary ways to reduce their anxiety.   Some try exercise, yoga, herbs, medication, travel, traditional talk therapy (Freudian mostly), avoidance, alcohol, etc., but all for naught.  Sooner or later, they find these attempts to be weak and even useless.

Keep in mind, though many anxiety reduction methods advertised state they can help, this is untrue. The only scientifically proven form of treatment available is CBT.  I often say to patients that if hypnosis, acupuncture, medication, and so on resolved anxiety, I would have sought certification in these areas.  This explains why we offer CBT at The April Center.

CBT works to reduce OCD symptoms.   What matters is how motivated and committed one is to doing the work.  If facing fear was simple, no one would struggle with it.  And we know that's not the case.

Fear and anxiety are this culture's most common ailments.  So do what's required to live a calm, enjoyable life filled with freedom.  If you need help, seek OCD and anxiety treatment and break free!

All the best,

Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

P. S.  Don't forget to sign up for my anxiety newsletter on my website's home page where you'll receive free anxiety tips!

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The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles and The South Bay

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

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