Psychiatrist Prof. Julio Vallejo Ruiloba, MD, PhD

Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common illness (0.8%-1.2%) which was first defined by psychiatrists in the nineteenth century. Its general symptoms are obsessive ideas (invasive, intrusive, strange, repeated, and disturbing for the patient) which the patient recognises as a sign of the illness. Rituals and compulsions of a diverse nature (cleaning, checking, order etc.) are frequent (80% of cases) and the patient repeatedly performs these actions in an effort to prevent a feared consequence from happening. Even though patients may try to control compulsive behaviour, they are unable to. The illness which tends to start in adolescence generally becomes chronic with fluctuations.

Treatment is a combination of pharmacology and behavioural therapy. Between 5-10% of all cases are extremely serious and do not respond to the aforementioned treatments. In such cases psychosurgery and/or deep brain stimulation may be recommended.

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