ZocdocAnswersAre there natural remedies for OCD?

Question

Are there natural remedies for OCD?

My brother was diagnosed as having OCD recently and I want to do everything I can to help him. The doctor prescribed for him a normal medication, but he's scared of it and I am too. I've read a little bit online about natural techniques, herbs, aromatherapy etc - how effective are these techniques against OCD?

Answer

Obsessive compulsive disorder is mental condition where certain obsessions intrude the thoughts of a person compelling them to carry out some compulsion to satisfy the obsession. An example of an obsession would be making sure the doors to house are locked and the compulsion is the check the door. Much more research needs to be done to work out the exact reason why some people develop OCD. There is some good evidence that OCD develops due to certain chemical imbalances in the brain. What this really means is that there is a reduction in certain brain transmitters most notably serotonin. There are natural therapies for OCD depending on your definition of natural. If natural to you means without drugs, then the best natural treatment for OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is a type of psychotherapy that allows patients to learn to dissociate the obsessions from the compulsions. Studies have shown that the best way to help people with OCD is to treat them with a combination of an SSRI (drug that increases serotonin in the brain) with cognitive-behavioral therapy. The SSRIs are medications with very few side effects and are much safer than herbal medications (which have hundreds of untested chemicals). Plus, there are no herbal or aromatherapies that have been shown to reliably help people with OCD. I hope this helps, and I hope he gets some relief.

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