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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 following:

  • 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

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/23/2016

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