For people with OCD, obsessions and compulsions can take over their lives. Effective treatment for OCD includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication. But therapists say meditation is a powerful tool to help bolster CBT and other treatments.
Many people with OCD experience intense anxiety and stress connected to obsessions or compulsions. Those feelings can interfere with daily life and cause a person to perform rituals that may not make them feel better in the long run. They might also avoid situations or activities that trigger their anxiety, which only adds to the stress. Kids who suffer from OCD can benefit significantly from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). One of the most effective treatments for OCD in kids is “exposure and response prevention.” In this type of treatment, a Kairos Wellness Collective therapist helps a kid slowly expose themselves to the thoughts that make them anxious and then assists them in refusing to use their compulsions to reduce their anxiety. Other treatments for OCD and anxiety include mindfulness meditation, herbal remedies like lavender, chamomile, and kava, and stress-fighting techniques such as deep breathing exercises. In addition, getting a whole night’s sleep and a healthy diet can reduce stress levels.
Many people with OCD find that their symptoms interfere with their relationships with friends and family. Often, family and friends joke about the condition or tell the person to “just stop thinking about it.” However, these thoughts can be emotionally draining and create a vicious cycle of obsession and compulsion. Obsessions are unwanted and uncontrollable thoughts or images that cause distress, anxiety, and fear. Examples include worries about contamination or dirt, a need for order and symmetry, or superstitions about specific numbers, colors, or arrangements. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that you feel compelled to perform to reduce the anxiety associated with your obsessions or to prevent something terrible from happening. They provide only temporary relief from anxiety. Examples include washing or cleaning, counting, checking things repeatedly, or avoiding certain people or places. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help control OCD symptoms by challenging obsessive thoughts and helping you learn alternative, more realistic ways of thinking. Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can increase serotonin levels and be helpful.
Enhanced Mental Health
Prayer and meditation can enhance mental well-being by alleviating stress, promoting self-awareness, and sharpening focus. Additionally, practicing yoga has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression while improving mental clarity. Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, such as exposure and response prevention (ERP), also effectively manage OCD and anxiety symptoms. ERP involves gradually exposing oneself to anxiety-provoking thoughts or situations in a secure environment and aiding in resisting compulsive behavior. Some psychiatric medications can also control the obsessions and compulsions that cause OCD, including SSRI antidepressants that affect serotonin levels. Sleep deprivation can trigger OCD and worsen symptoms, so getting enough rest is essential. People with OCD and anxiety can benefit from stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. Additionally, keeping a journal can help reduce stress and increase self-awareness.
When a person is dealing with anxiety and OCD, they can feel overwhelmed. These feelings can cause an individual not to complete daily tasks or even get out of bed sometimes. They can also affect a person’s social life and work responsibilities. In severe cases, a person with OCD can become housebound. OCD is a condition that affects the brain’s alarm system, which is designed to signal if there is a real threat. Unfortunately, for people with OCD, their alarm system starts to overreact to any triggers, and they will feel compelled to perform rituals to ease their fears. Holistic care can help people overcome this by learning coping and relaxation techniques. This can include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. Sleep and a balanced diet can reduce stress. Acupuncture treats OCD by inserting needles into specific points on the body.