Common intrusive thoughts list

Types of intrusive thoughts - MHA Screening

You’re going about your day, and suddenly you’re hit with a thought that’s bizarre, uncomfortable—even shocking. Maybe you’re talking to someone, and you suddenly picture yourself punching them in the face. Or you can’t stop picturing random people naked. You don’t want to think about this stuff, so why does it keep happening?

These are called intrusive thoughts, and just about everyone has them from time to time [1]. Usually, people are able to ignore these thoughts and move on. But sometimes, intrusive thoughts can get out of hand. If your thoughts are causing you a lot of distress or getting in the way of your daily life, it could be a sign of a mental health condition. Seeking treatment can help you learn to manage the thoughts.

Let’s look at a few different types of intrusive thoughts, and what they might mean.

Thinking about hurting yourself or someone else

Sometimes intrusive thoughts can be violent. You might think about hurting yourself or someone else. Usually, there’s no intent behind it—you don’t actually want to do those things; it’s just a random thought that pops into your head. But you might be afraid that deep down inside, part of you does want to act out, and that’s why you’re thinking about it so much.

Thoughts like these may be a sign of an anxiety disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People experiencing postpartum depression may have intrusive thoughts about harming their baby.

If you do have any intent to follow through on these thoughts, or if you’re already acting out, that’s beyond intrusive thoughts. If you’re having trouble controlling aggressive behavior, you’ll need to learn how to manage your emotions in a more constructive way.

If you’re thinking of committing suicide, you can reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or using the chat box at You can also text “MHA” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Warmlines are an excellent place for non-crisis support.

Intrusive sexual thoughts

Most people—regardless of gender—think about sex quite a bit [2]. It’s completely natural. But if you’re ashamed of these thoughts, or you think having them makes you a bad person, you can get fixated on them [3, 4]. Remember that thoughts are just thoughts—even if the thoughts are shocking or frequent, they don’t define who you are as a person.

It’s also common for people to have intrusive thoughts about their sexual or gender identity. Working out your identity can be a long and difficult process. It can be stressful, and it makes sense that you’d be thinking about it a lot. But it’s also common for people with OCD to obsess over thoughts that don’t seem to line up with their identity [5]. For example, you might identify as lesbian, but have intrusive thoughts about sex with a man.

Negative self-talk

Negative thoughts about yourself are a common symptom of depression. When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to get stuck on thoughts like “I’m such a loser,” or “I’ll never amount to anything. ” The emotion behind these thoughts can be so strong that they feel like facts, rather than intrusive thoughts.

Negative thoughts often fall into common patterns, called thinking traps. These are mental shortcuts we take that can lead us to get stuck in our negative thinking. One way to deal with them is to reframe them—find new, more positive ways of thinking about the same situations. Click here for a list of common thinking traps and ways to reframe them.

Delusional thoughts

If your thoughts are bizarre or paranoid, you might be experiencing signs of psychosis. For example, you might feel like the FBI is watching everything you do, or that someone is trying to poison you. You might even see or hear things that no one else does. Psychosis can be a sign of a mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Sometimes drugs can also cause psychosis.

Other intrusive thoughts

These are just a few of the most common types of intrusive thoughts. There are many more. The important thing is to realize that intrusive thoughts are something that happens to you, not something that defines you. If you think you might be experiencing any of the types of mental illness discussed here, take one of our mental health tests to find out if you’re at risk.

Show References

  1. Radomsky et al. (2014). Part 1—You can run but you can’t hide: intrusive thoughts on six continents. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders 3(3), pp. 269-279. Retrieved from
  2. Fisher et al. (2011). Sex on the Brain?: An Examination of Frequency of Sexual Cognitions as a Function of Gender, Erotophilia, and Social Desirability. The Journal of Sex Research 49(1), pp. 69-77. Retrieved from
  3. Weingarden & Renshaw. (2014). Shame in the obsessive compulsive related disorders: A conceptual review. Journal of Affective Disorders 171(15), pp. 74-84. Retrieved from
  4. Melli et al. (2017). The role of guilt sensitivity in OCD symptom dimensions.  Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 24(5), pp. 1079-1089. Retrieved from
  5. Williams & Farris. (2010). Sexual orientation obsessions in obsessive-compulsive disorder: prevalence and correlates. Psychiatry Research 187(1-2), pp. 156-9. Retrieved from

Intrusive Thoughts OCD - Symptoms and Treatment

OCD and Intrusive Thoughts

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can appear in many different forms and can affect any person, regardless of their race, age, or gender. OCD can cause a person to suffer from unwanted thoughts or mental images, which are called intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are symptoms of all types of OCD and are a form of obsession.

Symptoms of OCD and Intrusive Thoughts

A person suffering from OCD can experience intrusive thoughts that can vary significantly because each sub-type of OCD typically has its own unique array of triggers. Regardless of which triggers are present, most intrusive thinking causes distress, anxiety, and in severe cases, panic attacks. Typically, without knowing that the individual has OCD, they will try everything possible to avoid these overwhelming thoughts.

Common Obsessions of Intrusive Thoughts OCD

The intrusive thoughts a person experiences depends on their form or sub-type of OCD. Some common types of obsessions and intrusive thoughts include:

  • Intense fear of committing a feared action or acting on an undesirable impulse
  • Fear of contamination (Contamination OCD)
  • Fear of committing a sin or blasphemous behaviors
  • Constantly doubting one’s sexual orientation (hOCD)
  • Fear of harming themselves or others (Harm OCD)
Common Compulsions of Intrusive Thoughts OCD

The compulsions a person develops in order to neutralize and reduce the anxiety caused by their intrusive thinking also varies between sub-types of OCD. Examples of common compulsions in which a person may engage due to intrusive thoughts or images include:

  • Compulsively repeating a ritual to reduce their anxiety
  • Checking oneself or others in order to ensure no harm has been done
  • Ruminating (continually thinking about the intrusive thoughts)
  • Seeking reassurance from others
  • Intense need to perform a task “just right”
  • Avoiding objects, places, or people that can trigger one’s intrusive thoughts

A person’s intrusive thoughts can cause them cycle through their compulsive behaviors several times each day, which can prevent them from completing important tasks and engaging in relationships. The impact of distressing intrusive thoughts can cause a person to isolate themselves from friends and family, as well as cause major disturbances in their normal functioning.

Treatment for OCD

People suffering from OCD are encouraged to seek treatment from a mental health treatment provider that specializes in the treatment of OCD. OCD specialists are equipped and prepared to treat a wide array of OCD subtypes, including OCD. Like all types of OCD, this form of OCD can be treated with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), specifically with treatment approaches called Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Mindful-Based CBT teaches patients that everyone experiences intrusive thoughts. Individuals will also learn that intrusive thoughts have no power over them and that by responding to their thoughts through compulsive behaviors, their thoughts are given more strength and credibility and their fears and obsessions are strengthened and reinforced. Mindfulness-Based CBT is a very effective OCD treatment, especially when combined with ERP.

ERP exposes patients to situations related to their intrusive thoughts that cause them anxiety. The goal of this treatment is for the patient to prevent himself or herself from completing their compulsive behaviors when triggered by intrusive thoughts. The situations that are confronted will intensify over time, until the patient can face and overcome their most feared scenario. Once they are able to stop themselves from responding to their intrusive thoughts with compulsive behaviors, they can experience tremendous relief from the symptoms of OCD.

If patients are suffering from severe levels of anxiety due to their OCD, they may benefit from participating in treatment at an Intensive Outpatient (IOP) OCD treatment program, as is offered by The Gateway Institute. The Gateway Institute offers Intensive Outpatient treatment options as well as regular outpatient psychotherapy sessions, and a free, 30 minute face-to-face consultation with one of our experienced and caring clinicians at all three of our beautiful locations in Orange County, Scottsdale, Arizona, and the San Francisco Bay Area.  OCD symptoms typically worsen over time and can take over a person’s life, so it is very important to seek OCD treatment as soon as possible with a skilled and dedicated OCD specialist who can provide expertise and support during this journey.

Other Common Sub-Types of OCD

It is not uncommon for an individual suffering from one OCD sub-type to also suffer from other sub-types. Treating co-occurring sub-types simultaneously is important in finding balance and healing from OCD.

Checking OCD

Contamination OCD

Harm OCD

Homosexual (HOCD)

Pure O (Pure Obsessional OCD)

Relationship OCD

Sexual OCD

The Gateway Institute is here to support you in getting the help that you need.

Our Orange County, California, Gateway location is proud to provide anxiety treatment for the cities of Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Fullerton, Irvine, Aliso Viejo, Cypress, Buena Park, Brea, Lake Forest, Tustin, Westminster, Orange and Anaheim.

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Our Maricopa County, Arizona, Gateway location is proud to provide anxiety treatment for the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Sun Lakes, Mesa, Chandler, Paradise Valley, Surprise, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills, Buckeye, Mesa, Peoria, Sun City, Goodyear, and El Mirage.

OCD: what is obsessive-compulsive mental disorder, diagnosis, treatment

In our time, obsessive-compulsive mental disorder is faced by those who knew this disease only by hearsay. Surprisingly, psychologists note that many OCD patients can find advantages in their illness. Still, it is better to diagnose the disease and try to cope with it. The statistics are disappointing - up to 3% of the world's population is faced with a violation.

What is OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)? nine0005

OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a mental disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts (obsessions) and actions (compulsions). Striking examples include the desire for perfect cleanliness, the fear of catching various diseases, a manic attachment to certain rituals (for example, pressing the doorbell three times, washing hands after each handshake, etc. ).

Often, the manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder is accompanied by bodily harm to oneself or other people. It is important to diagnose the disease in time so that it does not develop into a pathology. nine0003

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is also called obsessive-compulsive disorder. The disease can be chronic, episodic or progressive. Equally, the disease is present in both men and women. Sometimes the patient himself understands that his thoughts in their manifestation are absurd, and the behavior that follows them is very ineffective. But resisting them is useless. Suppressing these actions only increases the anxiety state.

If we consider the disease from the side of physiology, then it leads to functional disorders in the following parts of the brain: nine0003

  • basal ganglia;
  • frontal part;
  • caudate nucleus;
  • amygdala.

The severity of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder in patients can vary and most often depends on the presence of stressful situations in a person's life. Violation can change life for the worse, reduce communication with society. A distinctive feature of obsession can be considered the absence of rationalism, and compulsions - that they cannot be abandoned. nine0003

Patients, realizing their situation, are afraid to go crazy, they start to worry about their relatives, about their own and their safety. In practice, such neuroses do not lead to serious consequences or mental disorders, and aggressive thoughts do not lead to subsequent actions.

This is what distinguishes a person with OCD from mentally deranged or hallucinating patients. A patient with OCD has the following symptoms:

  • high intelligence;
  • adequate thinking; nine0016
  • conscientiousness and anxiety;
  • high sense of responsibility;
  • pedantry;
  • desire to be the best.

Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder

The most obvious symptoms include the obsessive and compulsive disorders already mentioned, that is, obsessive thoughts and a manic desire to perform any action. Thoughts can manifest as images, delusional ideas, inexplicable drives. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and its symptoms are observed in the form of the inability to make decisions regarding everyday situations. nine0003

Of the main signs of OCD, the following can be distinguished: obsessive-compulsive disorder:

  • intrusive thoughts;
  • anxiety and various fears;
  • the same rituals that a person performs daily.

Among the mental symptoms in patients, the following are observed:

  • fear of catching an infection;
  • causeless anxiety;
  • maniacal desire for order and cleanliness; nine0016
  • excessive superstition.

With OCD, the patient appropriates all incoming thoughts, in contrast to the disease of a split personality, when a person hears "foreign" voices.

These actions themselves do not bring pleasure to a person, but they can reduce the level of anxiety and stress. This does not last long and after a while the obsession returns, a phobia sets in and everything starts in a circle. Outwardly, compulsions can resemble ordinary work, for example, a person lays out things, constantly cleans the house, although the house can be perfectly clean anyway. nine0003

Sometimes the manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder manifests itself physically. A person does not sleep well, he has headaches, heartaches, blinking becomes more frequent, nervous tics and convulsions occur, pressure rises, appetite is disturbed, and sexual desire decreases.

The manifestations of obsessive-compulsive disorder are constant and manic in nature, they cause inconvenience to a person.

Causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder nine0005

Scientists are still conducting various studies to establish the exact causes of the violation. But there are no exact data in this area. Despite this, it is customary to single out several areas that can cause obsessive-compulsive disorder syndrome, the reasons are:

  • Psychological. OCD occurs when a person develops aggression towards an object. It also includes stressful situations that provoke a violation. The state appears as an exit of emotions, as a marker of anxiety. nine0016
  • Biological. The disorder is the result of a disease of the brain or nervous system. It can be provoked by various kinds of injuries, hormonal disorders or anatomical features.
  • Genetic. The disease can be inherited.
  • Sociological. They arise as a response of the body to external factors.
  • Exogenous. They manifest themselves in the form of traumatic situations that can happen at work or in personal life.
  • nine0023

    Disease pathogenesis

    Despite various theories of the occurrence of OCD, the pathogenesis of obsessive-compulsive disorder has a well-defined nature of occurrence, although not fully understood. These structures of the body interact with each other through serotonin. The lack of this hormone is due to the heightened effect of neurons on the cerebral cortex. This provokes a blockage of the nerve impulse, which does not reach the next neuron.

    Classification and stage of development of ROC nine0005

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder has different degrees of severity and manifests itself in the following stages:

    1. "Mental chewing gum" or rumination. When a person sets himself unsolvable questions and tasks.
    2. Arrhythmia. Obsession, which is manifested by the constant re-reading of various objects.
    3. Intrusive reproduction. It manifests itself in the painful formation of a person to remember everything that is not related to a given period of time, event or conversation. nine0016
    4. Onomatomania. An obsessive desire to remember all the words, titles and names.

    There are several variants of manifestation. For example, they can be expressed in simple symbolic actions. The patient can put a certain prohibition on performing actions, for example, counting steps for failure or success. They can also be expressed in physical actions aimed at self-harm: pulling out body hair and eating it. As a rule, an accurate diagnosis requires complete immersion in the disease in order to understand whether it is different from other mental disorders. nine0003

    The manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder is equally observed in both men and women. It is much less common in children, although it is believed that the first signs may appear before the age of 11 years.

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder is most common in adolescents. Studies have shown that the disorder affects mainly adolescents aged 11-17 years. Up to 85% of all patients are adolescents.

    Each person, as a rule, goes through three stages that are inherent in OCD: nine0003

    • Misunderstanding. At this stage, intrusive thoughts are mild. A person feels a violation of the habitual consciousness, anxiety, cannot understand the nature of the occurrence of manic impulses.
    • Understanding. Accompanied by a visit to a specialist. The patient understands that disturbances are present, but cannot yet realize the changes. Often at this stage there is hope that the state will change and life will return to its previous course.
    • Adoption. The patient comes to terms with the mental disorder, agrees to treatment. He ceases to regard obsession and compulsion as a temporary condition. At this stage, it is important to fully interact with the attending physician, to obtain comprehensive information about the disease. nine0016

    The obsessive-compulsive disorder scale was introduced to determine the stage of the disorder. It's called the Yale-Brown scale. It was developed at Yale University under the direction of Wayne Goodman. This manual is accepted throughout the world as a traditional method for identifying the stage of OCD.

    Complications of obsessive-compulsive disorder

    In obsessive-compulsive disorder, the consequences can be irreversible and cover completely different areas of life: nine0003

    • Suicidal behavior. In a severe stage, the patient may commit suicide or try to cause physical harm to another person.
    • From constant contact with soap and detergents that a person uses so actively, dermatitis can develop.
    • Possible problems in the social sphere. Inability to communicate with society. A person falls out of society - he does not have a hobby, he is afraid to appear in public places, he cannot concentrate on work. nine0016
    • There are conflicts with relatives and friends. Some people with OCD are unable to start a family and have difficulty raising children.

    When to see a doctor?

    At the slightest suspicion of the listed symptoms, you should immediately contact a specialist. Often a person with OCD is not able to independently realize and accept that his behavior and way of thinking has changed.

    If you have problems with society and loved ones, then you should listen to their advice and make an appointment with a doctor. nine0003


    The violation is included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder includes a mandatory visit to a specialist with subsequent diagnosis.

    When making a diagnosis, the doctor relies on the following criteria:

    • The patient has intrusive thoughts. The frequency of their appearance in this case exceeds the permissible norm for two weeks.
    • Obsessive thoughts and actions qualitatively worsen the life of the patient. nine0016
    • The implementation of obsessions and compulsions causes discomfort in the patient.
    • Actions and thoughts occur regularly and frighten the patient with their frequency.
    • There is no specificity in thoughts and actions, their nature is associated with anxiety, generates stress in a person, internal tension.

    The diagnosis is made if the patient has obsessive thoughts or ideas. They adopt an image that prompts them to impulsively perform some kind of action. nine0003

    There is a mixed form of the disorder where the patient is equally haunted by obsessive thoughts and there is a manic execution of compulsions.


    Comprehensive treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder includes an individual visit to a psychotherapist - a specialist identifies the causes of the disease, helps to recognize the signs of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and accepts that the patient has OCD. The next step is the CBT method (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). The psychotherapist teaches the patient to monitor the appearance of OCD, find ways to change negative thoughts, displace them and change them into optimistic actions. Medications in this case are prescribed with the consent of the patient. nine0003

    Antidepressants and anxiolytics (drugs that relieve anxiety) are prescribed as medicines. Treatment with sedatives is also possible, which helps relieve depressive thoughts, remove depressed mood.

    Therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder may include biofeedback therapy. Sensors are installed on the patient, with the help of which breathing, muscle work and heart rate are controlled. This technique helps to control the condition and further cope with emerging obsessive thoughts and negative emotions. nine0003

    You can get treatment from private practitioners, but it is better to choose clinics that specialize in the treatment of mental disorders. Such institutions employ doctors with many years of experience who have been practicing and treating obsessive-compulsive disorder for many years.

    +7 (495) 121-48-31

    Prevention and recommendations for illness

    OCD is typical for people who have any other mental disorders. Also, with a stable calm state of patients diagnosed with OCD, its recurrence is possible. Since the specific cause of the violation has not been established, then prevention is advisory in nature. nine0003

    For obsessive-compulsive disorder, recommendations in terms of prevention can be primary and secondary:

    1. Primary. A person learns about a genetic predisposition, corrects his behavior with the help of a specialist, uses various methods to prevent the occurrence of a violation. Primary prevention also includes educational methods.
    2. Secondary. Used to prevent recurrence of OCD. In this case, you will also need the help of a specialist to correct behavior, calm and sufficient sleep, abstinence from alcoholic beverages and drugs. You can also follow a special diet that is aimed at producing serotonin. nine0016

    If any signs appear, it is better to consult a doctor, and not try to come to terms with unfamiliar conditions. It is useful to get comprehensive information about OCD from people who have suffered this violation.


    1. Erich Fromm, "The human soul, its capacity for good and evil"
    2. Karen Horney, Neurosis and Personal Growth: The Struggle for Self-Realization
    3. Goldsmith G. N. Approaches to the treatment of narcissistic disorders: Kohut and Kernberg nine0016
    4. Otto Friedmann Kernberg, “Severe personality disorders. Psychotherapy Strategies»
    5. Dadasheva K.N. 1 , Agafonov B.V. 2 , Dadasheva M.N. 1 , Podrezova L.A. GBUZ MO MONIKI them. M.F. Vladimirsky, Moscow - neurasthenic syndrome in general medical practice. The possibilities of therapy.
    6. McWilliams N., reflections on schizoid dynamics
    7. T.A. Solokhina, prof. V.S. Yastrebov, L.S. Shevchenko - A model of organizing socio-psychological care for patients with schizophrenia. nine0016

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - key facts in English

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

    See our disclaimer that applies to all translations available on this site.

    What is obsessive-compulsive disorder?

    At times we can all get hung up on things, but if:

    Terrible thoughts come compulsively into your head, even if you try to get rid of them,

    You have to count or touch things over and over again , or repeating some actions, for example, washing hands,

    You may have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

    Who gets OCD?

    About 1 in 50 people will experience OCD at some point in their lives. Equally, it can be men and women. In the UK, their number is about 1 million people. OCD usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood. Symptoms of OCD may get worse or worse over time, but often people don't seek help for many years.

    What are the signs and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder?

    • Recurring thoughts that make you feel anxious - "obsessions" or "obsessions". It can be unpleasant words or phrases, mental pictures or doubts.
    • The things you do over and over again that help you feel less anxious are 'compulsions'. You can try to correct or "neutralize" thoughts by counting over and over again, saying a special word, or performing certain rituals. nine0016

    What are the causes of OCD?

    Many factors can play a role in the occurrence of OCD. One or more of the following could explain why you or someone you know has OCD.

    • In some cases, OCD is inherited, so sometimes the disorder can run in the family.
    • Stressful life events cause OCD in about a third of cases.
    • Life changes in which you have to take on more responsibility, such as puberty, the birth of a child, or a new job. nine0016
    • If you have OCD and it lasts for some time, you may develop an imbalance of serotonin (also known as 5HT), a brain neurotransmitter.
    • You are a neat, pedantic, methodical person - but you go too far in this.
    • If you have extremely high standards of morality and responsibility, you may feel especially bad about having unpleasant thoughts. To the point where you start to be wary and keep a close eye on them, which makes them even more likely to appear. nine0016

    How to help yourself

    • If you regularly force yourself to think the thoughts that are bothering you, you will be able to control them better. You can write them down - on a recorder or on paper, and then listen to or reread. You should do this regularly, for about half an hour every day. At the same time, try to resist compulsive behavior.
    • Do not use alcohol to control your anxiety.
    • If your intrusive thoughts are about your faith or religion, discuss them with your religious leader to help you understand if OCD is a problem. nine0016
    • Try using a self-help book.

    Professional help Various types of psychotherapy

    Exposure and response prevention

    Helps stop the mutual reinforcing of compulsive behavior and anxiety.

    We know that if you stay in a stressful situation long enough, you will gradually get used to it and the anxiety will go away. In this way, you gradually face the situation that you fear (exposure), but stop yourself from doing your usual compulsive rituals of checking or clearing (avoiding a response) and wait for your anxiety to go away. nine0003

    Cognitive therapy

    Instead of getting rid of your thoughts, cognitive therapy helps you change how you react to them. It specifically targets unrealistic self-critical thoughts. Useful if you have intrusive thoughts but are not performing any rituals or activities to reduce your anxiety. Can be used with Exposure and Response Prevention.

    Antidepressant treatment

    Even if you are not depressed, SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) antidepressants can help. They may be used alone or with cognitive behavioral therapy for moderate to severe OCD. If the medicine doesn't help at all after three months of taking it, you can change it to another SSRI antidepressant or a medicine called Clomipramine (Anafranil). nine0003

    How effective is the treatment?

    Exposure and prevention of response

    About three out of four people who completed this therapy did well, but one in four will return symptoms and require additional treatment. Approximately one in four people refuse to try this type of cognitive-behavioral therapy or do not complete it - they find it too hard for them.


    About six out of 10 people feel better with medication and their symptoms lessen by about half. Medications do help prevent OCD from returning for as long as they are taken, even years later. Unfortunately, about half of those who stop taking the drug return symptoms within a few months afterward. This is less likely when drug treatment is combined with cognitive behavioral therapy. nine0003

    Which approach is best for me?

    Mild OCD

    Exposure and response prevention can be done without professional help. This method is effective and has no side effects, but you will feel more anxious for a while. You must be motivated and ready for hard work. Cognitive therapy and drug treatment are equally effective.

    Moderate or severe OCD
    • Initially, you can choose either CBT (up to 10 hours in contact with a therapist) or medication (up to 12 weeks). If you do not get better, you should try both treatments together. nine0016
    • If you have severe OCD, it is best to use medication and CBT together from the start.
    • Taking medication alone will help you if you don't feel able to face the anxiety that Exposure and response prevention will cause, but the chances of OCD coming back are higher - about one in two compared to one in four with psychotherapy treatment. The medicine must be taken for about a year and is obviously not ideal during pregnancy or breastfeeding. nine0016

    The original page produced by the RCPsych Public Education Editorial Board. Series Editor: Dr Philip Timms.

    Information about treatments can change rapidly and the College updates its mental health information pages regularly.

    Translated by: Maria Kadmenskaya

    Translation date: August 2011

    (c) February 2013. Royal College of Psychiatrists. This booklet may be downloaded, printed, copied and distributed free of charge provided that no profit is made from its use and that the Royal College of Psychiatrists is credited and credited as the author.

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