Thursday, September 14, 2006

OCD - The First Treatment!

Unlike many, due to my excellent support from people I was very quick in first seeking help with my OCD, it is thought that most with OCD suffer in silence for many years before seeking help, not knowing they have a disorder and can be helped and only getting help when they have slipped down into a state where they are completely incapacitated by the disorder. If you are struggling with what might be OCD, do not let this happen to you, there is help out there.

I went a grand total of about a month before I seeked help for my OCD. Where I would be and what state I would be in today I do not know if I was not pushed to seek help at such an early stage by loved ones close to me. The first thing I did was went to see my doctor and vaguely explained the thoughts that were going through my mind. I was blessed with a doctor who knew about OCD, this is a lot less common than I had suspected and I have heard of many who do not know about OCD and leave patients stranded, if your doctor does not understand, go and see another one! My doctor put me on what is called an SSRI medication (or an antidepressant) called Fluoxetine, which is the generic name for a much more commonly known medication, Prozac. I have to admit I was concerned to begin with, I thought taking the medication meant I was crazy and if I wasn't crazy already then the medication would make me so.

After doing some research and with instruction from my doctor I began on the medication with instructions that the medication can take longer to help than for depression, infact it can take up to 10 weeks. I was also told that sometimes the medications does not help at all and that I may need to try several different SSRI medications before one is helpful. I was also told that the dosage required varies from person to person and that getting mine right may take time.

I however was blessed, the medication while initially making my thoughts stronger, did help me out within about four weeks. They certainly didn't stop the thoughts but they did begin to mean I could focus some of the time on other things and begin to live a more normal life again.

I was also told that seeing a psychologist to do Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) was the next step in controlling my disorder, however, the waiting list was long and it was going to be another year or so before I was able to see a psycholgist, I will talk about these methods and my experiences in a later post.

My next post will probably be on Christianity & Medication, as a christian I have come across many well meaning christians who argue that taking medication is unbiblical, unneccessary and wrong. I disagree strongly with this position and will hope to help christians struggling with this issue in the next post.

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