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How Do You Help Someone With OCD?

How Do You Help Someone With OCD?

You’re always afraid you’re going to say the wrong thing, do a task over and over that draws attention, or continually seek approval. If symptoms such as these rule your day with an iron fist, you may be experiencing the first signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder. But treatment options are available.

OCD Definition

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is when someone has recurring, unwelcome thoughts, ideas, or feelings that make them feel compelled to do something repeatedly. Rhythmic behaviors like hand washing, verifying something, or cleaning can drastically inhibit your daily routine and social interactions.

But you don’t have to have OCD to experience distressing thoughts or monotonous behaviors. However, such thoughts and actions don’t usually disrupt daily living. Thankfully, many symptoms of OCD can be treated.

Symptoms

OCD affects about two to three percent of people in the United States and more adult males than adult females. If you’re in distress, preoccupied for more than an hour each day with symptoms, or find your relationships are disrupted, you may be diagnosed with the condition. OCD is characterized by obsessions and compulsions, each with its symptoms.

Obsession Symptoms:

  • Fear of becoming infected by people or nature
  • Prurient thoughts or mental images
  • Fear of inappropriate speech
  • Intense concern with order, precision, or proportion 
  • Recurring intrusive thoughts
  • Fear of losing or abandoning something essential

One of the benefits of ketamine infusion, especially for a condition like OCD, is that it works very quickly at lower doses than other kinds of treatment. As reported by researchers from Stanford University, ketamine acts like fentanyl and oxycodone and reduces symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions. Alan Schatzberg, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, said he thinks ketamine “acts as an opioid,” and that explains its rapid effects.

If you suffer from OCD, contact us today to learn more about treatment.

Compulsion Symptoms:

  • Extreme or ritualized brushing teeth, hand washing, or bathing
  • Repeated maintenance of household items
  • Ordering or arranging something in a specific way
  • Continually checking appliances, locks, or switches
  • Continuously looking for approval or encouragement
  • Repetitive counting to a particular number

How Do You Help Someone With OCD?

OCD can be challenging to diagnose and treat as many other mental illnesses. People with it may not recognize their own symptoms, chalking them up to being a “perfectionist” or just “a numbers” person who appreciates organization. As such, it may be hard for someone to admit there’s a problem they need help with. If you know of someone with OCD, here are some things you can do to help.

  • Learn as much about the condition as you can and pass that information along to the person with OCD. Find books at the library, research legitimate websites, join a support group. “As you learn more about the disorder, you begin to feel hopeful that you can do things to help the person with OCD overcome their disorder.”
  • Help the person find the appropriate medication. OCD is often treated with antidepressants, but research indicates that ketamine infusion works much faster and is dispensed in smaller doses. Positive results were reported recently by Stanford University researchers in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
  • Help your loved one research treatment options, which may include psychotherapy or self-help strategies.
  • Don’t be overly accommodating. This means: Don’t participate in your loved one’s OCD behavior, don’t help them avoid certain behavior, don’t offer blanket reassurance which only brings temporary relief.
  • Help the person understand that uncertainty isn’t the end of the world. Someone with OCD may ask the same question over and over to get the answer they want, but it’s acceptable to respond with “I’m not sure.”

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis may include:

  • Psychological examination. This includes examining thoughts, feelings, symptoms, and behaviors to see if obsessions or compulsive behaviors interfere with your quality of living. Your healthcare provider may ask for permission to talk to family or friends.
  • Compare symptoms to OCD criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), by the American Psychiatric Association.
  • Medical check-up. Your doctor may recommend this to help rule out another ailment that could trigger your symptoms and see if there are any related complications.

Treatment may include psychotherapy, self-help, antidepressants, or ketamine infusion.

Final Thoughts

If you have OCD, it can be challenging to function daily without constantly checking, organizing, or counting something. If symptoms interfere with your quality of life, it’s time to get help. A medical professional specializing in mental health can best diagnose your problem and recommend the best course of treatment. Contact us today to learn more.

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