Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be managed with behavioral therapy, medication, electroconvulsive therapy, and related therapeutic treatments. Behavioral therapy is used for exposure and ritual prevention (ERP).
The therapy helps patients to learn how to tolerate the anxiety associated with their compulsive behavior. Exposure ritual/response prevention (ERP) is an effective treatment for OCD and offers evidence-based research, leading many to believe and suggest that it is a generally accepted practice even among professionals who believe that psychotherapy when combined with psychiatric medication is a more effective option than either taken alone.
Medications for the treatment of OCD include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are paroxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine, escitalopram, and tricyclic antidepressants.
Treatment of OCD still needs improvement with regard to determining more effective solutions. Benzodiazepines are used, but some believe they are ineffective for OCD. Other types of antidepressants take longer to determine benefit. Antipsychotics are typically used in conjunction with SSRIs.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a type of psychiatric treatment whereby seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients to produce a therapeutic effect; ECT is often recommended for patients with severe depression. It has been found effective for both severe and refractory cases of OCD.
Related therapeutic treatments are psychosurgery and experimental. With psychosurgery, a surgical lesion is made in an area of the brain, namely the cingulate cortex.
Psychosurgery for OCD is a treatment of last resort. Experimental techniques include using sugar inositol as a treatment for OCD. Nutrition deficiencies may be contributors to OCD and related mental disorders. The use of vitamins and mineral supplements may provide nutrients necessary to encourage proper mental functioning.