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If left untreated, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can seriously affect your daily functioning, relationships, success in school, ability to work, and mental health. OCD is usually treated with a combination of behavioral therapy (counseling) and medications. Behavioral therapy can help you gradually confront feared objects or ideas, either directly or by imagination. Medications are used to treat the obsessions, anxiety, depression, distress, and other associated disorders.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and specially trained primary care providers are trained to treat OCD. If your doctor doesn't have special training, ask for the name of a doctor or counselor who does.

Treatment involves the following:

MedicationsOther treatments—therapy

Surgical procedures are not a treatment option for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Revision Information

  • Braunwald E. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 18th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2011.

  • Dougherty D, Baer L, et al. Prospective long-term follow-up of 44 patients who received cingulotomy for treatment—refractory OCD. Am J Psychiatry . 2002;159:2.

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated November 8, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.

  • Stern, TA et al. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry . 1st ed. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2008.

  • Treatment. Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation website. Available at: http://www.ocfoundation.org/treatment.aspx . Accessed December 28, 2012.