One review of the research has suggested that approximately 40 to 60 percent of patients respond to treatment with SRIs with a 20 to 40 percent reduction in OCD symptoms. The specific treatment used, whether medication alone, psychotherapy alone, or some combination of the two, depends upon the individual needs of each patient.
For example, CBT may be used alone in patients who are averse to taking medications or those who are pregnant or nursing. Medication might be prescribed alone for patients who have poor motivation for insight-based treatments or who lack access to a CBT-trained mental health practitioner.
In one review, researchers looked at earlier studies to see if certain symptoms subtypes of OCD responded better to certain treatment approaches. They found that in the majority of studies, OCD characterized by religious and sexual obsessions in the absence of compulsions i. Exposure and response prevention, also known as ERP therapy, is a form of cognitive-behavioral and exposure therapy.
It involves a trained therapist helping a client approach a fear object without engaging in any compulsive behaviors. Clients intentionally expose themselves to the objects, images, situations, or thoughts that make them anxious or that are the subject of their obsessions but are prevented from engaging in the compulsive behavior that typically follows these events.
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The goal of such therapy is to help patients learn how to effectively manage their symptoms without having to resort to acting upon compulsions in order to relieve mental distress. So, is pure O really a distinct form of OCD? What makes it different from the traditional diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder? While some studies have suggested there may be different symptoms subtypes of the disorder, one study has suggested that the term pure O may be something of a misnomer.
While people who experience these obsessions without any obvious behavioral compulsions, they do still engage in unseen mental rituals. Why is it so important to note that these mental rituals still exist, even in the absence of behavioral rituals? By understanding that such mental rituals exist, therapists and other mental health professionals can ask patients about these symptoms. Without such questioning and prompting, patients may be reluctant to describe the symptoms that they are experiencing or may not even be aware that they should discuss these symptoms.
Pure O may not involve the outward behaviors that often come to mind when people think of OCD. However, the hidden mental rituals that characterize the purely obsessional form of the disorder are a type of compulsion, even though they may go unseen. While these thoughts may seem disturbing at times, a trained expert can help you better understand your symptoms as well as the treatment options that may be available to you. Talking about your thoughts is not always easy, but taking this important step is the first part of getting the help you may need to find relief. Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life.
Stewart S. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
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In: Camprodon J. Current Clinical Psychiatry.
New York: Humana Press; Williams, MT, et al. Depression Anxiety. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. Exposure Therapy for Anxiety: Principles and Practice. New York: The Guilford Press; More in OCD.
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What Is Pure O? Common Symptoms of OCD. Symptoms of Pure O. Common Treatments for Pure O. Pure O vs. View All. Obsessions involve:. Repeated intrusive images, thoughts, and impulses that create a great deal of distress Thoughts that are not related to excess worries and stress in real life Recognition that these thoughts arise from within the individual's own mind Making attempts to ignore, suppress, or neutralize the obsessive thoughts.
Compulsions involve:. Repetitive actions, either behavioral or mental, that a person feels compelled to perform as a result of obsessive thoughts Engaging in actions intended to reduce distress related to the obsessions. The obsessive-compulsive symptoms must not be due to the physiological effects of a substance, such as a side effect of a medication or illicit drug.
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