Dr. Manuel Alfonso Simón is a psychiatrist and belongs to Top Doctors, the select circle of top-level doctors in Spain. As an expert in obsessive-compulsive disorder, he will explain the details of his treatment.
What is an obsessive-compulsive disorder and why does it appear?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, also called OCD, as its name suggests, is characterized by an obsessive thought with imperious, reiterated ideas that can not be overcome and that have to be repeated over and over again and in the behavioral side obsessive rituals, the compulsive rituals in which you have to check again and again for example that you have closed the door, that you have not dropped anything, wash your hands, usually a certain number of times. In this type of disorder the reason does not work, the patient is not psychotic, but neurotic, and understands that it does not work at all, but nevertheless can not overcome it.
Why does it appear? OCD is a biological disorder, usually hereditary. There is a 20% of hereditary cases that have a similar clinical complete and to a lesser extent a lot more percentage. It is a biological disorder and therefore pharmacological treatment is necessary and psychotherapeutic treatment is necessary.
Is psychotherapy effective?
Yes it is. Although, as we have said, it is a biological disorder and therefore pharmacology is necessary. It is important that the person who suffers learn to manage their situation and benefit from a series of strategies, not a psychological or psychotherapeutic treatment in terms of understanding but to handle the problem and it is very useful to handle it with a family treatment because not only the person who suffers is in a situation that does not know how to guide their problem, but the family often suffers not knowing what to do, how to manage and how to address the problem.
Is medication always necessary?
Yes, medication is always necessary because we have already commented that it is a biological disorder and therefore if it does not overcome, if it does not solve this biological substrate, the real cause, it is impossible to solve the problem, even though psychotherapy is effective. It is also important that this treatment occurs as soon as possible, if the disease on average debuts between 14 and 16 years and we start treatment at 16 years will be much better than if we start at 26. The sooner the treatment is done, the better the medium and long-term prognosis.