Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (cont.)
What is the prognosis for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?
Psychological interventions tend to be quite effective in significantly reducing symptoms but usually do not result in a complete relief of symptoms. When people who receive psychological treatment individually are compared to those who engage in group psychotherapy, OCD sufferers who receive individual therapy tend to improve more robustly. Even those who respond well to medication treatment tend to have an even better prognosis when behavior treatment is added.
Individuals with OCD may try to hide these behaviors because they worry about possible societal stigma. If left untreated, OCD can interfere with an adult's ability to work and a child's ability to attend school or play. For all age groups, this disorder can prevent sufferers from socializing and functioning as a part of a family. For women who experience postpartum OCD, potential complications include them and their babies failing to bond and develop a healthy relationship with each other if the OCD is not effectively treated.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Support Groups and Counseling
Many support groups are available for people
with obsessive compulsive disorder, but not everyone with OCD will find a
support group useful. Groups can add more stress for some people rather than
relieving it. When considering joining a support group, think about the
- A useful group involves both newcomers and people who have had OCD
for a longer time.
- You should feel comfortable with the people in the group.
- Group leaders should make shy members feel welcome and prevent others from
dominating discussions. Discussions should provide you with useful information.
- Established groups are often more useful because the history of the group
may indicate that it is stable and meets the needs of its members.
- Groups that promise immediate cures and solutions are probably unrealistic.
- Some group discussions are merely complaint sessions and do not offer
helpful information or constructive discussions.
- Avoid any group that encourages you to stop the multimodality therapy
prescribed by your health-care professional.
- Groups should not require you to reveal personal or sensitive information.
- Groups should not charge high fees or require you to buy products.
- Groups usually discourage members from having personal relationships outside the group, since that might undermine the work that occurs in the group.
Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
Abramowitz, J., Moore, K., Carmin, C., Wiegartz, P.S., and Purdon, C. Acute onset of
obsessive-compulsive disorder in males following childbirth. Psychosomatics 2001
Oct; 42: 429-431.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, Fourth Edition, Treatment Revision 2000, Washington, D.C.
Baldwin, D.S., Brandish, E.K., and Meron, D. The overlap of obsessive-compulsive
disorder and social phobia and its treatment. CNS Spectrums 2008 Sep; 13(9 Suppl
Bandelow, B. The medical treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and
anxiety. CNS Spectrums 2008 Sep; 13(9 Suppl 14): 37-46.
Bandelow, B., Zohar, J., Hollander, E., Kasper, S., Moller, H.J., et al. World
Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) guidelines for the
pharmacological treatment of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and post-traumatic
stress disorders-first revision. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 2008;
Barrett, P.M., Farrell, L., Pina, A.A., Peris, T.S., and Piacentini, J. Evidence-based
psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 2008 Jan; 37(1): 131-155.
Bejerot, S. An autistic dimension: A proposed subtype of obsessive-compulsive
disorder. Autism 2007; 11(2): 101-110.
Bloch, M.H., Landeros-Weisenberger, A., Kelmendi, B., et al. A systematic review:
antipsychotic augmentation with treatment refractory obsessive-compulsive
disorder. Molecular Psychiatry 2006; 11: 622-632.
Brandes, M., Soares, C.N., and Cohen, L.S. Postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder:
diagnosis and management. Archives of Women's Mental Health 2004 April; 7(2):
Christenson, G.A. and Crow, S.J. The characterization and treatment of
trichotillomania. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 1996; 57(Suppl 8): 42-49.
Disabled World.com. Famous people with obsessive compulsive disorder January
25, 2008 www.disabledworld.com.
Durdle, H., Gorey, K.M. and Stewart, S.H. A meta-analysis examining the relations among
pathological gambling, obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-compulsive
traits. Psychological Reports 2008 Oct; 103(2): 485-498.
Fireman, B., Koran, L.M., Leventhal, J.L., and Jacobson, A. The prevalence of clinically
recognized obsessive-compulsive disorder in a large health maintenance
organization. American Journal of Psychiatry 2001 Nov; 158: 1904-1910.
Fisher, P.L. and Wells, A. How effective are cognitive and behavioral treatments for
obsessive-compulsive disorder? A clinical significance analysis. Behavior
Research Therapy 2005 December; 43(12): 1543-1558.
Frederick, C. Hypnotically facilitated treatment of obsessive-compulsive
disorder: can it be evidence-based? International Journal of Clinical
Experimental Hypnosis 2007 Apr; 55(2): 189-206.
Godart, N., Berthoz, S., Perdereau, F., and Jeammet, P. Letter to the editor:
Comorbidity of anxiety with eating disorders and OCD. American Journal of
Psychiatry 2006 Feb; 163: 326.
Goldsmith, T.D., Shapira, N.A., and Keck, P.E. Letter to the editor: Dr. Goldsmith and
colleagues reply. American Journal of Psychiatry 2000 May; 157: 839.
Grabe, H.J., Ruhrmann, S., Ettelt, S., Buhtz, F., Hochrein, A., Schulze-Rauschenbach, S.,
et al. Familiality of obsessive-compulsive disorder in nonclinical and clinical
subjects. American Journal of Psychiatry 2006 Nov; 163: 1986-1992.
Greist, J.H., Marks, I.M., Baer, L., Kobak, K.A., Wenzel, K.W., Hirsch, M.J., Mantle, J.M.,
C.M. Behavior therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder guided by a computer or
by a clinician compared with relaxation as a control. Journal of Clinical
Psychiatry 2002 Feb; 63(2): 138-145.
Hanstede, M., Gidron, Y., and Nykliek, I. The effects of a mindfulness intervention on
obsessive-compulsive symptoms in a non-clinical student population. Journal of
Nervous and Mental Disorders 2008 Oct; 196(10): 776-779.
Helbing, M.L.C. and Ficca, M. Obsessive-compulsive disorder in school-age children.
The Journal of School Nursing 2009; 25(1): 15-26.
Jaurrieta, N., Jimenez-Murcia, S., Menchon, J.M., Del Pino Alonso, M., Segalas, C.,
Alvarez-Moya, E.M., Labad, J., Granero, R., and Vallejo, J. Individual versus group
cognitive-behavioral treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a controlled
pilot study. Psychotherapy Research 2008 Sep; 18(5); 604-614.
Kaplan, A., and Hollander, E. A review of pharmacologic treatments for
obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatric Services 2003 Aug; 54: 1111-1118.
Khan, M.N., Hotiana, U.A., and Ahmad, S. "Escitalopram in the treatment of
obsessive-compulsive disorder: a double blind placebo control trial." Journal of
Ayub Medical College Abbottabad 2007 Oct-Dec; 19(4): 58-63.
Kordon, A., Wahl, K., Koch, N., Zurowski, B., Anlauf, M., Vielhaber, K., Kahl, K.G., Brooks,
A., Voderholzer, U., and Hohagen, F. Quetiapine addition to serotonin reuptake
inhibitors in patients with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder: a
double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Clinical
Psychopharmacology 2008 Oct; 28(5): 550-554.
Krishnan, K.R.R. Psychiatric and medical comorbidities of bipolar disorder. Psychosomatic Medicine 2005; 67: 1-8.
Lochnera, C., Seedata, S., Hemmings, S.M.J., Kinnear, C.J., Corfield, V.A., Niehausa, D.J.H.,
Moolman-Smook, J.C., and Steina, D.J. Dissociative experiences in obsessive-compulsive
disorder and trichotillomania: Clinical and genetic findings. Comprehensive
Psychiatry 2004 Sep; 45(5): 384-391.
Maia, T.V., Cooney, R.E., and Peterson, B.S. The neural bases of obsessive-compulsive
disorder in children and adults. Developmental Psychopathology 2008 Fall; 20(4):
Mancebo, M.C., Eisen, J.L., Grant, J.E., and Rasmussen, S.A. Obsessive compulsive
personality disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder: clinical
characteristics, diagnostic difficulties, and treatment. Annals of Clinical
Psychiatry 2005 Oct-Dec; 17(4): 197-204.
Merlo, L.J., and E.A. Storch. "Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Tools for recognizing its many expressions." Journal of Family Practice 55.3 Mar. 2006.
Mohammadi, M.R., Ghanizadeh, A., Rahgozar, M., Noorbala, A.A., et al. Prevalence of
obsessive-compulsive disorder in Iran. British Medical College of Psychiatry
2004 Feb 14(4): 2.
OCD-info.org. Obsessive compulsive disorder information 2006-2009.
PELissier, M.C. Cognitive-behavioral treatment of trichotillomania, targeting
perfectionism. Clinical Case Studies 2004; 3(1): 57-69.
Russell, A.J., Mataix-Cols, D., Anson, M., and Murphy, D.G. Obsessions and compulsions in
Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. The British Journal of Psychiatry
2005; 186: 525-528.
Starcevic, V. and Brakoulias, V. Symptom subtypes of obsessive-compulsive disorder:
are they relevant for treatment? Australia New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
2008 Aug; 42(8): 651-661.
Storch, E.A., L.J. Merlo, M.L. Keeley, et al. "Somatic symptoms in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder: associations with clinical characteristics and cognitive-behavioral therapy response." Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 36 (2008): 283-297.
Tenneij, N.H., van Megen, H.J., Denys, D.A., and Westenberg, H.G. Behavior therapy augments
response of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder responding to drug
treatment. Evidence Based Mental Health 2006; May; 9(2): 53.
Torres, A.R. and Lima, M.C. Epidemiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder: a review.
Rev Bras Psiquiatr (Portuguese) 2005 Sep; 27(3): 237-242.
Uguz, F., Akman, C., Kaya, N., and Cilli, A.S. Postpartum-onset obsessive-compulsive
disorder: incidence, clinical features and related factors. Journal of Clinical
Psychiatry 2007 Jan; 68(1): 132-138.
Winter, J.M. and Scheibman, L. An examination of repetitive behaviors in autism and
obsessive-compulsive disorder: brain and behavioral similarities. Presentation
at the International Meeting for Autism Research 2002; Orlando, Florida.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/23/2016
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):