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Treatment of OCD

On average, it takes 14-17 years from the time OCD begins for people to get the right treatment.

Obstacles to Treatment

  • Hiding symptoms. Some people choose to hide their symptoms, often in fear of embarrassment or stigma. This causes many people with OCD to not seek the help of a mental health professional until many years after the onset of symptoms.

  • Less public awareness of OCD. Until recently, many people did not know there was even a name for their illness and with no name, they assumed there was no treatment.

  • Lack of proper training in health professionals. People with OCD often get the wrong diagnosis from health professionals and need to see several doctors and spend several years in the incorrect treatment before getting the right diagnosis.

  • Difficulty finding local therapists who can effectively treat OCD.

  • Not being able to afford proper treatment.

What Are the First-Line Treatments for OCD and OC Related Disorders?

The best treatment for most people with OCD should include one or more of the following:

If the Above Treatments Don't Work, What Are My Options?

What About PANDAS?

PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections)
is a proposed kind of OCD that occurs in childhood following the body’s reaction to infection.

PANDAS should be managed with early antibiotic treatment for strep infections. Continued symptoms can be treated with standard OCD treatments (cognitive behavior therapy and/or SSRI medicine). Closely watching a child's reaction to SSRIs is important as they can cause severe behavioral problems, including suicidal thoughts.

For more information on PANDAS, including diagnosis and treatment, download our PANDAS Fact Sheet.

Other Resources

Search for a Therapist

Download a Copy of our "What You Need to Know About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" brochure.

Continue to "How to Choose the Right Therapist"

Back to "What is OCD?"