Obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety affect millions of people throughout the world, and reports suggest the incidence is growing. Traditional treatment focuses on antidepressant medications and cognitive behavior therapy; use of antidepressants among children is […]
OCD: Prevention and Treatment
Our organization usually recommends that families explore nondrug approaches for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) before resorting to medication, because of the potential for side effects.
Depending on the severity of symptoms, OCD and anxiety can have significant consequences, negatively affecting schoolwork, careers, relationships, and self-esteem. We suggest that when an environmental or lifestyle issue can be addressed with positive results, it is better to focus on that rather than simply cover up symptoms with medication. However, in some cases, medication may be needed. Integrative approaches can often reduce the amount required.
Treatment for OCD typically involves cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and/or antidepressants. Trial and error of antidepressants may needed. Parents should be aware that some of the drugs frequently prescribed for OCD have not been FDA-approved for use in children. CBT alone is successful in some cases.
Case reports by families and physicians suggest that the avoidance of immune triggers, such as those defined in Finding Triggers for Tics: A Must Read, can help prevent and reduce OCD symptoms. See our article Natural and Integrative Approaches to OCD and Anxiety for more.
When an infection is the cause of OCD, as in PANDAS or PANS, a comprehensive treatment plan may be needed. Refer to our e-book Your Child Has Changed: Should You Consider PANDAS?
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