Healing Flower
Healing Flower

Natural Management of
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

“I’m so OCD about that” is becoming an increasingly popular phrase where individuals are referring to their quirks, pet peeves and preferences as “their OCD”. While more than likely an innocent misuse of the term, referring to your alphabetized DVD collection or the way you prefer your laundry to be folded as "your OCD” grossly misrepresents the seriousness of true obsessive compulsive disorder.
 
Obsessive compulsive disorder encompasses far more than a desire to have things in a particular order, wash your hands or be tidy. The “D” in “O-C-D” is what defines this as an often debilitating condition where individuals experience recurrent thoughts and/or actions that they can’t let go of or stop; even if they’re aware they are excessive or irrational. These obsessions and compulsions cause significant distress and can take up a large portion of the sufferer’s day, interfering with common daily responsibilities.
Obsessions and compulsions can present themselves in a variety of ways (see below) and may even go undetected by family, friends, and medical personnel for years due to the secretive nature and drastic attempts of the sufferer to hide them out of fear, shame or embarrassment.
How Do You Naturally Decrease Obsessions and Compulsions?

Our Approach

Obsessive compulsive disorder, as an illness, thrives on routine, order, and rules. Quite frequently, when therapies are targeted at stopping specific obsessions or compulsions, new ones quickly pop up to replace the old and little progress is made toward truly healing from the disorder.  At Natural Health Solutions of Virginia, our therapies target the underlying “imbalance” within the body that results in fear and anxiety expressed through obsessions and compulsions. By targeting the root cause and core anxiety we are able to indirectly address the obsessions and compulsions without encouraging new rules, avoidant behaviors or replacement compulsions.
 
We have found homeopathy to be the most effective therapy when working with individuals suffering from OCD because it involves looking at the unique and individualized presentation of OCD in each patient. The therapy is very specific to helping you as an individual, not a general form of therapy for anyone diagnosed with OCD.
In addition to homeopathic support, if necessary to achieve optimal wellness, nutritional support and education, healthy lifestyle changes and herbal support are sometimes recommended depending on one’s individual presentation.        

Click Here to read a patient example on 
the homeopathic management of OCD

Common OCD Misperceptions

Everyone with OCD frequently washes their hands and cleans their house

While hand washing, bathing and other cleaning rituals are common among OCD sufferers, (generally performed in response to exaggerated contamination fears), these are only a handful of the many common compulsions associated with OCD.
 
Examples of other common obsessions include:
                    - Fear of losing control
                    - Fear of harming someone
                    - Fear that something will happen
                    - Fear of forgetting or losing something
                    - Preoccupation with small details and exactness
 
Compulsions that may be performed in response to these obsessions include:
                    - Repeatedly checking that nothing awful has happened
                    - Repeatedly checking that you didn’t harm someone or act “out of character”
                    - Continuously asking for reassurance
                    - Hoarding to be sure you do not dispose of something you might need at a later date
                    - Repeating activities to make sure you didn’t make a mistake such as recounting or rewriting
                    - Repeating certain tasks until they are done a “safe” number of times or until they “feel right”
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If most of my compulsions are in my head it can’t be OCD and I must have something wrong with me

In addition to observable compulsions, a common, yet less discussed form of compulsion is a mental compulsion. Some patients struggle with “Pure O” OCD, where they experience continuous doubting or “what-if’s.” Unwanted thoughts, impulses or mental images that are frequently violent, sexual, blasphemous or unethical in nature are also common among those experiencing “Pure O.” These are particularly terrifying and distressing as they directly oppose ones morals or values, leaving them feeling confused and guilty. The individual may ruminate on these thoughts trying to make sense of them, continuously replay positive thoughts in their mind designed to counteract the negative ones, silently repeat ritualistic sayings or prayers to ensure they don’t act upon these thoughts or impulses and often avoid situations that may trigger these thoughts. For example, a person with OCD afraid of harming someone may avoid the use of knives in the kitchen. Someone who fears acting inappropriately with a child may avoid situations where children are likely to be present.     

I will "grow out of" OCD without having to get help

In general, OCD begins in childhood and worsens with age. Obsessions cause anxiety levels to rise and compulsions serve to decrease this level of anxiety, bringing temporary relief and reinforcing the compulsion. The problem is that this decline in anxiety is short-lived and once the obsession resurfaces, maybe seconds or days later, the compulsion must be carried out once more to decrease the anxiety. Over time this obsession and compulsion cycle becomes a deeply ingrained part of the daily routine, making it more difficult to identify and break.
    

I’ve tried medication and therapy without much improvement so I can’t be helped

Roughly 40-60% of individuals do not respond to pharmacological management of OCD (often treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs]), and according to Stanford University School of Medicine, of those who do respond to pharmacuitcals, only about half report a significant reduction of their symptoms. 

“Exposure and Response Prevention” (ERP), a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, has high potential to be a helpful treatment option. However, several factors, including how frequently the exposure is performed, how motivated the individual is, if any comorbid illnesses are present, etc., influence how successful this therapy actually is.
 
These are not the only options, and less than desirable results while trying these does not mean there is no hope of feeling better. With the addition of homeopathic supportive care, the individual may actually react more favorably and make more progress with their ERP or other forms of therapy.     

There is always hope!
If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD Contact Us Today  to see if we would be a good fit for one another. 

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