Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) treatment
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious mental health condition that causes individuals to experience a variety of symptoms that typically fall into one of two categories: ‘obsessions’ and/or ‘compulsions’.
COVID-19: Customer Update
To protect both patients and staff, we are not currently offering face-to-face therapy on an outpatient or day care basis at our Hospitals or Wellbeing Centres. Assessments and therapy can still be accessed remotely via our Priory Connect video service and through Skype.
Inpatient services are still available across our network of private healthcare hospitals, with flexible options for pre-admission assessments being offered.
Advice for people with heightened symptoms of OCD during the COVID-19 outbreak
Priory's Dr Andrew Iles is a consultant psychiatrist based in Oxford. He specialises in providing treatment and support for people with OCD. In this video, he explains what OCD is, how it manifests, how it is impacted by COVID-19 and what can be done to support people experiencing heightened symptoms due to the pandemic.
Obsessions are characterised by persistent and irrational thoughts or urges, and compulsions refer to physical or mental acts that individuals feel compelled to perform. Some individuals who develop OCD only experience one type of symptom, whilst others can experience both obsessions and compulsions. These irrational thoughts and behaviours can become extremely time consuming and can seem impossible to stop or control.
At Priory, we understand that the symptoms of OCD can be distressing and confusing. As such, our world class team of specialist psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and other highly qualified mental health professionals are committed to providing comprehensive and personalised OCD treatment at our hospitals and wellbeing centres. We are dedicated to enabling you to address the causes and underlying triggers for your irrational thoughts and behaviours, improve your symptoms and regain control of your life.
Experienced and specialist OCD treatment at Priory
Our exceptional treatment team have a wealth of clinical experience in treating OCD, and are able to deliver a wide range of established therapeutic interventions to help you to overcome your OCD and return to the healthy, fulfilling and productive life that you deserve. Our OCD treatment specialists are also able to prescribe medication to complement the therapeutic element of treatment, if this is deemed as being the best approach for you.
Each individual who seeks OCD treatment and support at Priory will be placed at the centre of their treatment journey and will benefit from a truly bespoke treatment experience in order to produce the most positive individual outcomes. Our highly specialised, supportive and compassionate treatment environments ensure that you are provided with a peaceful and therapeutic setting in which to address your challenges and achieve a full and sustainable recovery.
At Priory, we recognise that without expert support, OCD has the potential to become increasingly worse over time and can have a devastating impact on all areas of your life, as well as the lives of those who are closest to you.
Treatment and therapy for OCD at Priory
For many people, OCD can be a debilitating condition, but specialist OCD treatment and support can alleviate your symptoms and facilitate a strong and lasting recovery. At Priory, our OCD experts are dedicated to providing personalised OCD treatment and help, empowering you to become more self-aware, acquire lifelong coping mechanisms to help you to manage your OCD, resolve the underlying issues that may be exacerbating your OCD and identify triggers for your obsessions and compulsions before they manifest.
We are able to deliver expert OCD treatment in an outpatient, day care or inpatient (residential) capacity, depending on the intensity of the OCD support that you require, as well as your unique needs. You can read more about these different treatment options on our approach to mental health treatment page.
In addition, Priory’s national network of specialist UK hospitals and wellbeing centres mean that we are able to offer you the specialist support that you need in a location that is convenient for you, and in a way that can be flexible around your work and other commitments.
OCD treatment at Priory typically consists of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and specialist OCD medication.
CBT for OCD
CBT is a highly effective therapeutic method that is used worldwide in the treatment of a wide range of mental health conditions, including OCD. CBT is based on the principle that OCD develops and is intensified as a result of a series of dysfunctional, deeply ingrained thought processes that cause individuals to evaluate and respond to situations in unhealthy ways.
Therefore, the aim of CBT is to address the negative thought patterns that form the basis of your OCD, examine why they have developed in the first place, before challenging you to view situations in healthier ways. The OCD CBT programme at Priory aims to reduce anxiety and prevent patients from engaging in the harmful rituals that are characteristic of OCD.
CBT for OCD consists of exposure and response prevention (ERP), which means confronting your fears, learning to tolerate anxiety, and avoid using compulsive behaviours.
CBT has been found to result in long-lasting benefits and also aims to provide you with effective coping strategies, enabling you to continue enhancing your levels of wellbeing long after treatment. CBT can take place in the form of one-to-one therapy or group therapy, depending upon which method is deemed as being the most appropriate for you and your individual concerns.
Medication can also be used to treat OCD; this is usually prescribed alongside CBT, in order to complement the therapeutic side of treatment, reduce anxiety, minimise the risk of relapse following treatment, and act as an additional buffer against OCD. The most useful medications in the treatment of OCD are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are a form of antidepressant medication. SSRIs are non-addictive and their effects can be seen after several weeks. It is important to take a full course of SSRI treatment, which is usually a year or more.
Outpatient therapy package for OCD
We are also able to offer a tailored outpatient therapy package at our wellbeing centres, which is specifically designed to tackle OCD. In order to allow peace of mind, our therapy package offers a set amount of one-to-one therapy sessions, certainty of price for initial treatment, discounted rates and a personalised treatment plan.
Priory’s outpatient therapy package for OCD consists of 10 one-to-one therapy sessions with our OCD experts, which is the number of sessions that are recommended according to national guidelines. A further discount is also available for any additional therapy sessions that you may require following your initial treatment package. More information on the treatment and package price can be found by accessing our OCD outpatient therapy package leaflet.
Regain control of your life and seek help for OCD
Due to the intense and time-consuming symptoms that are associated with this condition, individuals with OCD may find it hard to hold down regular employment and be productive in their day-to-day life.
In addition, family members and friends may also become involved in your obsessions, compulsions and rituals which can have a detrimental impact on their lives and wellbeing, and can cause them to experience significant distress.
However, it is crucial to understand that OCD is treatable, and the most important first step towards regaining control of your life is to seek specialist support.
This page was clinically reviewed by Professor David Veale (MBBS, BSc, MD, FBPsS, FRCPsych, FBABCP, MPhil) in May 2020, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in May 2022. To view all Priory OCD specialists, please click here.
Priory offers video access to therapy and assessments. You will benefit from the same high regulatory standards received across all Priory services, and will be treated by highly trained therapists who are experts in their field. Click here to find out more.
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