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Overview

In a rehabilitation setting, OCD is treated using medications and psychotherapy. Medications are usually prescribed when a person has moderate to severe OCD symptoms in addition to psychotherapy, and for a person who has mild OCD when psychotherapy alone isn’t found to be effective. Medications function to increase the level of serotonin in the person’s brain, which helps them think more clearly, making room for psychotherapy to effect change.
In psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has shown to be an effective therapy that many psychotherapists practice. A specialized therapy within CBT is called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), which has been shown to be an effective treatment for people with moderate to severe OCD. During ERP sessions, the person with OCD identifies the circumstances that trigger their anxiety, and with the help of the therapist, gradually learns to purposely face those anxiety-triggering circumstances without resorting to their temporarily anxiety-relieving compulsions. In this way, the person learns to cope with their anxiety in a functional and acceptable way.
EXPERT TALKS

OCD Psychiatry: What is it and how can it help you?

PATIENTS RECOVERY STORIES

Living with OCD and Overcoming Them: Survivor Stories

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How effective is Rehabilitation for OCD?

Rehabilitation is effective for treating OCD as it allows for constant monitoring and professional support that gradually allows the person to reduce the intensity of their obsessions and compulsions.

What are the benefits of Rehabilitation for OCD?

A rehabilitation setting allows the person with OCD to adhere to treatment, gives them access to regular sessions with different professionals such as psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and family therapists, reduces the sense of isolation as the individual gets familiar with other members of the rehabilitation facility facing similar issues, provides room for assessing any other co-morbid mental health condition that the person may have, and thus overall provides a focused environment for recovery.

How long is a stay at the rehabilitation required?

There are structured programs, usually starting from 3 months. The person’s condition would be first assessed by the professionals and a treatment plan would be made. How long the person needs to stay in the rehabilitation would depend on the severity of their OCD and their progress levels. Some people may need to extend their stay while others may be still recommended to have regular follow-up appointments with the professionals on an outpatient basis to manage their symptoms.