When someone receives a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder, they often ask, “Is it possible for OCD to just go away?” Living with a condition that plagues you with intrusive, disturbing thoughts and demands you carry out repetitive behaviors for relief is exhausting. So, it’s understandable why people might hope it would simply go away after some time.
Unfortunately, OCD doesn’t just go away. There is no “cure” for the condition. Thoughts are intrusive by nature, and it’s not possible to eliminate them entirely. However, people with OCD can learn to acknowledge their obsessions and find relief without acting on their compulsions. Obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment is the first step toward finding freedom from OCD.
How does OCD work?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that creates a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions consist of intrusive, unwanted thoughts that range from distressing to disturbing. Compulsions are various behaviors a person carries out to relieve their troublesome thoughts.
The longer someone experiences this pattern of thoughts and behaviors, the deeper they instill the belief that compulsions are the only way to relieve the obsessions. Anxieties surrounding their thoughts worsen, and the need to act on compulsions becomes almost impossible to control. Over time, symptoms of OCD begin to dictate a person’s life until they struggle to manage daily responsibilities.
Could OCD just go away?
People with OCD or their loved ones might wonder whether OCD can go away after treatment. Unfortunately, the condition does not simply disappear after a few sessions of therapy or starting medication. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a cognitive disorder, not a physical ailment that can be cured through medical means.
However, there is a better way to frame the question. Instead of asking whether it is possible for OCD to just go away, consider this alternative: “Is it possible for me to regain control of my life despite having OCD?”
Fortunately, the answer is absolutely. You don’t have to live at the mercy of your intrusive thoughts forever. Seeking treatment for OCD can help you learn to manage your symptoms. You’ll learn the mindfulness techniques and coping skills needed to overcome your pattern of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior.
What is treatment for OCD like?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment involves a few different components, as most programs use a combination of psychotherapy and medication to address the problem from multiple sides.1 Medication provides some relief from symptoms so psychotherapy can address both harmful cognitions and unwanted behaviors.
Some facilities, such as Clearview Treatment Programs, offer specialized programs for individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dedicated treatment approaches developed specifically for treating OCD, like exposure and response prevention therapy, offer the most effective care possible and ensure the best chance at lasting recovery.
If you’re interested in learning more about OCD treatment at Clearview Treatment Programs or finding out the other types of care we offer, please call us at 866-339-3544. Our admissions specialists are available to answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you find the program that best meets your or your loved one’s needs.
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2022). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.