Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic condition, which means it may always be part of your life. While OCD warrants treatment by a professional, you can do some things for yourself to build on your treatment plan:
- Take your medications as directed. Even if you're feeling well, resist any temptation to skip your medications. If you stop, OCD symptoms are likely to return.
- Pay attention to warning signs. You and your doctor may have identified issues that can trigger your OCD symptoms. Make a plan so that you know what to do if symptoms return. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel.
- Check first before taking other medications. Contact the doctor who's treating you for OCD before you take medications prescribed by another doctor or before taking any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal remedies or other supplements to avoid possible interactions.
- Practice what you learn. Work with your mental health professional to identify techniques and skills that help manage symptoms, and practice these regularly.
Coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder can be challenging. Medications can have unwanted side effects, and you may feel embarrassed or angry about having a condition that requires long-term treatment. Here are some ways to help cope with OCD:
- Learn about OCD. Learning about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan.
- Join a support group. Reaching out to others facing similar challenges can provide you with support and help you cope with challenges.
- Stay focused on your goals. Keep your recovery goals in mind and remember that recovery from OCD is an ongoing process.
- Find healthy outlets. Explore healthy ways to channel your energy, such as hobbies and recreational activities. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and get adequate sleep.
- Learn relaxation and stress management. Stress management techniques such as meditation, visualization, muscle relaxation, massage, deep breathing, yoga or tai chi may help ease stress and anxiety.
- Stick with your regular activities. Go to work or school as you usually would. Spend time with family and friends. Don't let OCD get in the way of your life.
There's no sure way to prevent obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, getting treatment as soon as possible may help prevent OCD from worsening and disrupting activities and your daily routine.
Sept. 17, 2016
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)