Mental health disorders

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

(OCD)

About Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder. If you have OCD, you have frequent, upsetting thoughts called obsessions. To try to control the thoughts, you feel an overwhelming urge to repeat certain rituals or behaviors. These are called compulsions.

Examples of obsessions are a fear of germs or a fear of being hurt. Compulsions include washing your hands, counting, checking on things, or cleaning. With OCD, the thoughts and rituals cause distress and get in the way of your daily life.

Researchers think brain circuits may not work properly in people who have OCD. It tends to run in families. The symptoms often begin in children or teens. Treatments include therapy, medicines, or both. One type of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, is useful for treating OCD.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Symptoms of Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Frequent, upsetting thoughts called obsessions
  • Repeated rituals and behaviors, called compulsions, to calm your thoughts

Top Medications for Obsessive-compulsive disorder according to our users

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All Medications for Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Anafranil
    (clomipramine)
    Prescription only

    Anafranil (Clomipramine) is helpful in treating OCD, but it can have a lot of side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • fluvoxamine
    Prescription only

    Luvox CR (fluvoxamine) is a first choice treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it can lower your sex drive.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Paxil
    (paroxetine)
    Prescription only

    Paxil (paroxetine) is effective for treating depression and anxiety, but causes more unwanted side-effects than other medicines that work like it.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release pill
    • Liquid
  • Prozac
    (fluoxetine)
    Prescription only

    Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Delayed release capsule
    • Liquid
  • Celexa
    (citalopram)
    Prescription only

    Celexa (citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Side effects are less likely to happen compared to other antidepressants; however, it is not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
  • Effexor
    (venlafaxine)
    Prescription only

    Effexor (venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can cause more withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly compared to other antidepressants.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Lamictal
    (lamotrigine)
    Prescription only

    Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
    • Chewable tablet
    • Dissolving tablet
  • Remeron
    (mirtazapine)
    Prescription only

    Remeron (mirtazapine) improves your mood and helps you sleep better, but can cause more weight gain than any other antidepressant.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Dissolving tablet

Medication side effects for Obsessive-compulsive disorder

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for Constipation.

  • Paxil: 5%
  • fluvoxamine: 47%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have Constipation

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have Constipation

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Obsessive-compulsive disorder

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Realize that your thoughts are a result of OCD. They are not rational or accurate. Sometimes you have to get some distance from the thought again to realize that it is not true or a real concern.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Allow the feeling of anxiety to be there. Don't try to argue or reason with the obsessive thoughts. Don't do the things identified as compulsions. It takes a long time for it to get better but it does!
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • DBT
  • ERP - exposure response therapy. Similar to phobias, you have to engage and allow the thoughts and fears without doing the compulsion. After about 30 times the obsession usually breaks.
  • Sometimes rational thought therapy can make it worse - creates more arguing. ERP is the best.