Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) treatment specialists

One in 100 people will develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder during their lives, with the condition known to run in families. It can be triggered by stressful situations and periods of depression. Help is available with Priory's dedicated OCD treatment centres in the UK.

Mental wellbeing outcome

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

OCD is a prevalent mental health condition that causes a person to have irrational thoughts known as ‘obsessions’. To try and deal with the anxiety associated with the obsession, repetitive actions or ‘compulsions’ are performed. Some people only suffer from obsessions, whilst others suffer from a mixture of both obsessions and compulsions. It commonly begins in puberty or early adulthood.

As the actions associated with OCD are a response to obsessional fears, the resulting compulsive rituals may cause you to have ‘safe’ thoughts which temporarily reduce anxiety. Common responses involve constant checking, cleaning and avoiding certain things. Examples can include:

  • Checking if a household appliance is turned off
  • Washing yourself or objects more than usual
  • Only touching things with a tissue or avoiding items which may be contaminated
  • Repeating actions a set number of times or for a specific period of time

Treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD treatment often involves Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and OCD medication. A structured programme tailored to your specific problem will be designed after a consultant psychiatrist and trained therapist have carried out an assessment. Treatment will depend on the seriousness of your condition and will be discussed. Outpatient, day patient or inpatient care is available.

OCD outpatient package

Priory also provides a tailored 1:1 outpatient therapy package for obsessive compulsive disorder. Our packages offer certainty of price for a set amount of 1:1 therapy sessions, including discounted rates. The amount of sessions we recommend within each package is based on national guidelines.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Programmes

Without medication being used for OCD, the following techniques can be used to help you overcome the condition.

  • Exposure and response prevention
  • Confronting fears and learning not to use compulsive behaviour
  • Tackling smaller fears then gradually building up
  • Practising techniques at home to reinforce the response prevention
  • This programme results in reduced anxiety, which will then allow the rituals to stop

How long will treatment take?

The length of treatment for OCD varies from 10 outpatient sessions upwards, depending on how serious or complex your condition is. You may need some follow-up sessions to encourage you to continue to use the skills you learned in your treatment.

What OCD medication is available?

There are some antidepressant medications that can be very useful in OCD treatment. They reduce the obsessions and are useful if one of your symptoms is feeling low. In severe cases, medication can make behavioural and psychological treatments more effective. They're not addictive and are safe to use over long periods of time. The medication used in OCD treatment is normally of a higher dose and needs to be taken for longer than medication prescribed for treatment of depression, so a psychiatrist should supervise use.

Overcoming OCD

You may find the treatment difficult as you will need to confront your obsessional fears and stop your compulsive responses to these. But the most important thing is to realise that OCD help is available and effective in most cases. Therapists and other hospital staff are aware of your condition and will give as much support as possible. Carers and family members will be involved as appropriate, especially where you need support at home.

Self-help with OCD

Self-help may be useful as the first stage of treatment or alongside other treatments. There are also many different self help books, leaflets and internet sites available. You need to find the right options for you. Self-help groups, like those supported by OCD Action, can be a useful support but they should not replace professional treatment. However, they can help sufferers and families understand that they are not alone, and offer valuable support and practical advice.

Contacting your GP is often the easiest way to get OCD help and further treatment. He or she may offer you counselling or refer you to a specialist for further assessment. This may lead to outpatient treatment or, if more serious, day or inpatient treatment.

If you're worried about talking to your GP, consider writing down your concerns and questions. You can:

  • Take a friend or family member with you
  • See another doctor in the practice

The type of professional support offered will depend on the services that are available in your area and the arrangements that our primary care trust (PCT) have with other health authorities or private providers. Treatment for OCD is also available privately through the Priory

 

Contact Priory for further information

For further details on how Priory can provide you with further assistance regarding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) treatment specialists, please call 0800 840 3219. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

More Info

Behavioural therapy programme overview:

  • Techniques involved are known as exposure and response prevention
  • These techniques help confront fears and learn not to use compulsive behaviour
  • The initial focus tackles smaller fears then gradually builds up
  • The tasks are then to be practiced at home to reinforce the response prevention
  • This programme results in reduced anxiety, which will then allow the rituals to stop

How long will the treatment take?

The length of treatment for OCD varies from 10 outpatient sessions upwards, depending on how serious or complex your condition is. You may need some follow-up sessions to encourage you to continue to use the skills you learned in your treatment.

What OCD medication is available?

There are some antidepressant medications that can be very useful in OCD treatment. They reduce the obsessions and are useful when one of the symptoms of the condition is that you feel low. In severe cases, medication can make behavioural and psychological treatments more effective. They're not addictive and are safe to use over long periods of time. The medication used in OCD treatment is normally of a higher dose and needs to be taken for longer than medication prescribed for treatment of depression, so a psychiatrist should supervise use.

Does treatment work?

You may find the treatment difficult as you will need to confront your obsessional fears and stop your compulsive responses to these. But the most important thing is to realise that OCD help is available and effective in most cases. Therapists and other hospital staff are aware of your condition and will give as much support as possible. Carers and family members will be involved as appropriate, especially where you need support at home.

Self help with OCD

Self-help may be useful as the first stage of treatment or alongside other treatments. There are also many different self help books, leaflets and internet sites available. You need to find the right options for you. Self-help groups, like those supported by OCD Action, can be a useful support but they do not replace professional treatment. However, they can help sufferers and families understand that they are not alone, and offer valuable support and practical advice.

Contacting your GP is often the easiest way to get OCD help and further treatment. He or she may offer you counselling or refer you to a specialist for further assessment. This may lead to outpatient treatment or, if more serious, day or inpatient treatment.

If you're worried about talking to your GP, consider writing down your concerns and questions. You can:

  • Take a friend or family member with you
  • See another doctor in the practice

 

The type of professional support offered will depend on the services that are available in your area and the arrangements that our primary care trust (PCT) have with other health authorities or private providers. Treatment for OCD is also available privately through the Priory.

 

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