Who is affected by ocd?
It is estimated that OCD affects two to three percent of the population. In a city the size of Winnipeg, with a metro population of over 730,000, there are between 15,000 – 27,000 people faced with the challenges of OCD. When you add in the number of family, friends, co-workers, health professional and others who are indirectly impacted by OCD the number of people affected is very significant.
When can it develop?
OCD knows no racial, religious, or socio-economic boundaries. It often surfaces at puberty although it can start as early as 18 months or as late as 40 years depending on the circumstances of the individual.
how is it diagnosed?
OCD is a complex disorder. It can only be properly diagnosed by trained therapists and doctors.
Cognitive Behaviour Treatment (CBT) – A trained therapist can help the patient overcome fear and discomfort of obsessions and compulsions by practicing gradual exercises to reduce the fear. This is done through cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), which is comprised of exposure and response prevention (ERP). ERP is the most effective psychological form of treatment for OCD. It involves triggering the patient’s obsessions by exposing them to real or imagined objects or situations that cause anxiety. The patient is then guided to respond without the compulsions that usually follow the obsessions. Over time, exposure arouses less anxiety limiting the obsessions, and compulsive behaviours are reduced.
Pharmacological Therapy – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) are the most common type of medication prescribed by a physician, who will monitor the drug’s effectiveness and side effects. .