of a course of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an
important part in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Recent research studies conducted at UCLA have demonstrated
that behavior therapy results in positive changes in brain
activity similar to those changes brought about by successful
drug treatment. For some people with OCD, the combination
of medication, cognitive (e.g., cognitive-restructuring)
and behavior (e.g., exposure and response prevention) therapies
give the best results.
studies show that approximately 85% of people who complete
cognitive-behavioral treatment by itself show "moderate
to great" improvement. In addition, approximately 75%
of people show long-term improvements in their OCD symptoms.
medications that work best for obsessive-compulsive disorder
are those that increase levels of the "chemical"
serotonin in the brain. Your physician or a psychiatrist
can recommend the medication that would be best for you.
Studies show that approximately 60% of patients who receive
medication alone show "moderate" improvement in
symptoms. However, most of those treated with medication
alone relapse within a few weeks after discontinuing use
of the drug.
this reason, cognitive-behavioral therapy should always
be used if you are taking medication for OCD. Medication
alters the level of serotonin, while cognitive-behavioral
therapy teaches you the necessary skills to resist compulsions
and obsessions, coping strategies to reduce anxious arousal,
and ways to change distorted automatic thoughts and maladaptive
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