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Is treatment for OCD worth it?
StudyGuru248 posted:
Hello. I am 17 years old, and I have very severe OCD among other anxiety disorders. I have been on a number of antidepressants, but none of them have provided any real relief. I see my therapist weekly, and she helps me push through week by week.

My OCD symptoms are so severe that I can barely function. For example, a homework assignment that is supposed to take an hour takes me four hours. My therapist and I have not worked much on ERP because I want to find a medication that helps at least a little before attempting it. I already average a dozen panic attacks a week.

This coming May, I decided that I am going to seek more intensive help. However, this thought is constantly on my mind, causing me to fear such a drastic life change more and more. Is overcoming OCD really worth all the anxiety and panic it is going to cause me?

I truly appreciate your time and any insights you may have.
BasketCase responded:
From what you have described here, I'm pretty sure I know what you mean and what you are going through. If I understand correctly, I've been going through somewhat the same thing myself.

You say that you are going to seek more intensive help, and while I think I have an idea of what that may be, I was wondering if you would be willing to share. It may help give us more insight and help us be more informed to give better advice.

All My Best,
StudyGuru248 replied to BasketCase's response:
Because I have not determined if overcoming OCD is what I want to do, I have not chosen a specific treatment option yet. If I do decide to seek additional help, it will most likely be outpatient. The following website gives an excellent description of this.

Thank you for your time.
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
OCD is a different disorder for anyone, but it's worth exploring treatments to help deal with it and, hopefully, lessen it.

I hope that you have an experienced psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety disorders because there may be meds other than ADs which would be helpful to you. This should be explored.

I believe you do want to get help with this and the ERP should be something you can research on your own to get a better understanding of what research is saying about it and its effectiveness. You should also be getting some help with self-help techniques that may be useful to you such as relaxation brething (see our Tips column) and, possibly, thought stopping. You can discuss all of this with your therapist.
StudyGuru248 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
Yes, my psychiatrist does specialize in anxiety disorders.

I have already done a ton of research on OCD and ERP. I have also learned various self-help techniques and thought-stopping strategies. However, I am extremely hesitant to start implementing them. OCD has essentially become my identity, so I really do not know if I want to get better. Nor do I know if I want to become calm, since I utterly detest change. I am sure this sounds completely bizarre, but this has been a major setback in my treatment. Do you have any advice or suggestions?

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