So a friend who's family member was asking about Paleo and OCD. The person with OCD has been doing low-carbish Paleo (50-100 grams carb/day) with supplements for 4 months (was doing Faileo before then ...) and certainly has helped with health and mood but still has old trauma from a family member's death in childhood from over 50 years ago ... The OCD person has done yoga and exercise but I feel everything has been tried except counseling/behavioral modification so I'm trying to convince them - this person accepts the diagnosis of OCD. I apologize for the length of the post but I'm a bit stumped so I'm grateful for your response/feedback.
I want to know success stories or people who've done any combo of treatments for OCD and how much improvement they've had. Also how long did it take you/them?
What did you or someone you know (patient, friend, family) do:
1) Behavioral Therapy- I've heard people can relapse so how frequently would one to do a booster dose? How long does therapy typically last with a psychologist - 1 to 6 months? Do you meet with the psychologist once a week, once a month - frequency?
It seems that CBT - cognitive behavioral therapy can be useful, and newer research suggests no difference between that and drugs (see the end of this post) so I'd rather not recommend this person go take drugs (as he tried Prozac in the past and it just turned him into a vegetable and caused weight gain) ... There is some bias as obviously psychologists can't prescribe drugs but psychiatrists can ..
On wikipedia a pretty lengthy article just an excerpt below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsessive%E2%80%93compulsive_disorder
According to a team of Duke University-led psychiatrists, behavioral therapy (BT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and medications should be regarded as first-line treatments for OCD. Psychodynamic psychotherapy may help in managing some aspects of the disorder. The American Psychiatric Association notes a lack of controlled demonstrations that psychoanalysis or dynamic psychotherapy is effective "in dealing with the core symptoms of OCD."
The specific technique used in BT/CBT is called exposure and ritual prevention (also known as "exposure and response prevention") or ERP; this involves gradually learning to tolerate the anxiety associated with not performing the ritual behavior. At first, for example, someone might touch something only very mildly "contaminated" (such as a tissue that has been touched by another tissue that has been touched by the end of a toothpick that has touched a book that came from a "contaminated" location, such as a school.) That is the "exposure". The "ritual prevention" is not washing. Another example might be leaving the house and checking the lock only once (exposure) without going back and checking again (ritual prevention). The person fairly quickly habituates to the anxiety-producing situation and discovers that their anxiety level has dropped considerably; they can then progress to touching something more "contaminated" or not checking the lock at all—again, without performing the ritual behavior of washing or checking.
Exposure ritual/response prevention (ERP) has a strong evidence base. It is generally considered the most effective treatment for OCD.
It has generally been accepted that psychotherapy, in combination with psychiatric medication, is more effective than either option alone. However, more recent studies have shown no difference in outcomes for those treated with the combination of medicine and CBT versus CBT alone.
More recent behavioral work has focused on associative splitting. It is a new technique aimed at reducing obsessive thoughts. The method draws upon the “fan effect” of associative priming: The sprouting of new associations diminishes the strength of existing ones. As OCD patients show marked biases or restrictions in OCD-related semantic networks (e.g., cancer is only associated with “illness” or “death”, fire is only associated with “danger” or “destruction”), they are encouraged to imagine neutral or positive associations to OCD-related cognitions (cancer = zodiac sign, animal, crab; fire = fireflies, fireworks, candlelight-dinner). First studies tentatively confirm the feasibility and effectiveness of the approach for a subgroup of patients.