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Old 04-15-2006, 10:42 PM   #1
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Medication Vs. Behavioral Therapy... Which would be best??

Hello,

I am new to this board. I am looking to see if anyone has any input on the best way to treat OCD? I would prefer to NOT go on medication if at all possible and maybe try the behavioral therapy route. I began seeing a therapist last week and we have begun discussing this option. Has anyone on here had any luck with the behavioral therapy method??

Thanks.

 
Old 04-16-2006, 04:09 AM   #2
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Re: Medication Vs. Behavioral Therapy... Which would be best??

Most cases of OCD are best treated with a combination of BOTH medication and CBT, but everyone's different; some only use meds and some only use CBT. Anyway, it really depends on what type of OCD you have. CBT works wonders for contamination OCD and checkers. However, if you're a pure obsessional like me, and only have mental compulsions, CBT isn't very beneficial... It didn't really help me because of that reason- my blasphemous obsessions have abated, but I don't know if this was the CBT or just because it's time for my OCD to wane again. (I'm the classic "waxer-waner.") The medications never really helped me either. I've had several "breakdowns" where my OCD got REALLY bad while I was on the meds... I've been on Zoloft (which did help at first because it was the first psychiatric medication that I ever used, and I definitely needed something), Lexapro (horrible...), and Prozac, which I just finished weaning off of today. Now, I'm only taking Lamictal, a mood stabilizer, and Klonopin when I need it for my panic attacks. Everyone has different success stories, and unfortunately, treatment of mental illness is basically a trial-and-error thing. Good luck, God bless, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 04-16-2006 at 04:09 AM.

 
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Old 04-16-2006, 05:05 PM   #3
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Re: Medication Vs. Behavioral Therapy... Which would be best??

Hey, thanks for your response!

Ideally I think I would like to try a combo of both medication AND behavioral therapy, and I think it would be quite beneficial. Unfortunately I have some issues when it comes to taking medication and don't know how to get over them. I am a hypocondriac by nature and always look up side effects of things. This compulsion has increased over the past few months, along with my OCD. I am to the point where I will not taken any medication, not even for cold or allergy. I am convinced I will have an allergic reaction or some rare side effect so I never end up taking anything. Which sucks because if I could actually take something I would feel so much better. Anyway, most of my OCD has to do with germs and contamination, so it sounds like behavioral therapy would be good for something like that. It sounds like you have tried a lot of different medications for your OCD. What side effects (if any) did you experience? Maybe my behavioral therapist could help me with my fear of medication so I can begin treating my OCD. I feel like I definitely need SOMETHING. I just want to feel better and not have compulsions run my life....

 
Old 04-16-2006, 05:35 PM   #4
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Re: Medication Vs. Behavioral Therapy... Which would be best??

Hey, HippieChic! Yes, I'm sure that your CBT therapist will work on the medication fear first before moving on to the rest. As for me and side effects, every psychiatric medication I've taken has given me the same side effect: fatigue, fatigue, and more fatigue. It sucks because I hate to sleep, and it inhibits me from getting any homework done, that and me being unable to break away from my forums because I compulsively check them... I slept from ten-thirty to 12:30 today, which is a relatively short time for me with the medication, and I could fall asleep right now, and it's only 8:30. Unfortunately, Prozac, Klonopin, and Lamictal all cause drowsiness, and even though I stopped the Prozac and only take the Klonopin sparingly, I'll still probably be unable to stay awake. Other than that, I can't say I've had any other side effects. The other common one I've heard about is sexual side effects, but since I'm only 18 and a devoted virgin until marriage, I have no idea whether or not I have those or not! lol! Write back soon!
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:38 PM   #5
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Re: Medication Vs. Behavioral Therapy... Which would be best??

Hey Hippiechic, I just wanted to tell you that I had the same problem with meds. The first time I took Celexa my friend had to literally sit with me, tell me to swallow it and then sit there the rest of the night in case I had a side effect. I'm very sensitive to meds of any sort. I can tell you this - the benefits far outweigh any side effects. Here is what I experienced: start with half a pill to wean your body onto the meds and get it used to them. The first few weeks you may feel more agitated (which sucks if you're taking them for anxiety!!!). I got a little edgy and had trouble sleeping. I would wake up and then panic it was the meds killing me...it was just a side effect. I used Klonopin to help ease myself onto it. It calmed those tough moments. Other than that I had a little constipation and I gained about 10 pounds over 2 years. I know for sure b/c once I stopped the meds for awhile and I lost it all in about 6 months. There can be sexual side effects, you may lose your sex drive a bit. Nothing life threatening though. Just remember - they're just mild effects from the meds and the long term benefits are awesome if you find the right meds for you. Good luck! Keep us posted!

Last edited by luv2dance99; 04-16-2006 at 09:40 PM.

 
Old 04-23-2006, 02:26 AM   #6
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Re: Medication Vs. Behavioral Therapy... Which would be best??

You have gotten wonderful advise from all who have posted here. CBT/ERP and Meds are the best treatment available. While meds alone succeed in reducing OCD in very few people, it is ERP that is the actual treatment for OCD. The meds can be very useful in helping with the process of doing ERP.

If there was a true medical reason you could not take the meds. the ERP is the best treatment and your best tool for recovering from OCD. But, it sound like, in your case, as is with many people with OCD, especially contamination, taking the meds is actually a symptom of their OCD. As others have side, this can and will be worked on as part of your treatment. The most important thing is to find a good CBT who is trained in ERP. With our without meds, ERP is hard, very hard, but oh so very worth it.

Good Luck!

 
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