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3kidsin1trenchcoat4 karma

Good morning, Dr. Mick! I realize that you are no longer actively live in this AMA, but hopefully you will see my question and be able to respond to it at some point in the future.

My questions are about OCD.

The primary treatments for OCD — CBT, exposure and response prevention, and SSRIs — are effective for many OCD patients. However, even if treatment improves the sufferer's quality of life, OCD symptoms remain, and relapse is common. Additionally, some symptoms of OCD, such as counting behaviors, are more difficult to treat using the "traditional" first-line options.

How effective are the primary OCD treatments, in your experience? Is it a dart-throwing game to get results, do we need more research, or has the right answer not been found yet? What would some fall-back treatment options be for a patient for whom the first-line options have failed?

Finally, if you had the opportunity to advise the patient's spouse, family, or other advocates: How would you help them better understand the mental impact of OCD? What support can they give to someone struggling with OCD, and how can they help with treatment and recovery?

Thank you so much for devoting your time and headspace to this AMA!

3kidsin1trenchcoat2 karma

I'm not a professional in this field, but because of my own experiences I've got two suggestions:

Exercise releases endorphins. When I got in the habit of exercising regularly, I was able to quit my SSRI.

Mindfulness meditation is another great practice that has been shown to be useful for treating anxiety. I struggle with OCD and am just starting with mindfulness meditation, so I can't speak to its helpfulness personally, but both my therapist and the research I've done make me hopeful!

3kidsin1trenchcoat1 karma

One of our greatest advantages as humans is our ability to have a vast range of interests and hobbies, but to still remain in community with each other. My likes may not be the same as yours, but I can remain respectful to you - and even interested in you - as a fellow person.