OCD Treatment Approaches For Adolescents And Young Adults

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental condition affecting men and women alike. Patients struggle with unwanted, intrusive mental images, thoughts, impulses/obsessions, and unavoidable actions performed to alleviate anxiety. Recognizing the signs and symptoms early enough allows medical experts to commence the treatment procedures timely, improving the individual's chances of recovery. OCD outpatient treatment programs are a prevalent option among patients because of the cost and convenience benefits. They allow patients to receive quality OCD treatment with minimal disruptions to their daily lives. Below are some treatment approaches used in OCD outpatient treatment programs to treat young adults and adolescents.

Treatment Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common intervention offered in OCD outpatient treatment programs. It is effective in treating depression, anxiety, and addictions. However, CBT should be done under a trained professional's guidance at an OCD outpatient treatment program. Young patients diagnosed with OCD may enroll in OCD outpatient treatment programs to receive intervention without disrupting their education or work. CBT aims to reshape a patient's cognitive approach and response to various triggering situations. It allows the therapist to fully identify and understand a patient's triggers and obsessions before developing a process to change their thinking pattern. The therapist uses exposure and response prevention therapy to expose the patient to increasing gradations of their triggers. Constant, repeated exposure to triggers in a controlled environment in small increments rewires the brain's response mechanism through familiarity.

Treatment Through Medication

OCD outpatient treatment programs also use medication as supplementary treatment options that reduce and maintain symptoms, allowing cognitive-behavioral therapies to work effectively. Like CBT, prescription drugs do not require inpatient care because they are taken orally. Thus, patients enrolled in OCD outpatient treatment programs are only required to attend appointments for monitoring. Typically, medication is reserved for moderate to severe cases. Most OCD patients usually respond well and improve after doing exposure and response prevention therapies. Thus, medication for OCD treatment should only be administered by a certified professional with sufficient data of the patient's medical history. 

Working with Parents

OCD outpatient treatment programs foster parent-practitioner collaboration to promote patients' prognoses. The Child Mind Institute identifies working with parents as one crucial way of dealing with OCD in children and young teens. Given that adolescents are typically under parental care, they spend the most time with their parents. Thus, parents play a crucial role in the management of OCD symptoms at home. For that reason, OCD outpatient treatment programs also focus on teaching the parent the correct way to manage and respond to a child without reinforcing their obsessions and compulsions.

Keep these tips in mind as you look for OCD outpatient treatment programs near you.