Treatment of obsessions
Psychiatry is often “mystified”, as a result of which the treatment of mental illness seems to most to be something extremely extraordinary, unknown and complex. And very often this is exactly what happens: the process of treating psychiatric patients, indeed, causes a lot of problems and difficulties.
A psychiatrist is the same doctor as a therapist, cardiologist, ENT, etc.
A very specific attitude towards psychiatry has developed in society, and it is groundless and even ridiculous. Treatment by a psychiatrist, unfortunately, is condemned by people, considered shameful and often hidden from relatives and friends.
It is important to understand that mental illness therapy is the usual treatment for an unusual illness. Now there are not so many differences between the principles of treatment in psychiatry and, say, in therapy (although some “unusual” procedures are still used).
A person should not be more afraid of a visit to a psychiatrist than a visit to a general practitioner, cardiologist or ENT . This, in many ways, is the key to the mental health of the population. Let’s look at what a consultation with a psychiatrist can be, using the example of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the treatment of which is very important due to its wide distribution.
What is obsessional neurosis and should it be treated?
The main goal of treatment is to maximize the quality of life of the patient. If the disease interferes with life, then it is definitely necessary to treat it. Does obsessional neurosis interfere with normal life? To understand this, you need to find out what is commonly understood by this term.
Obsession is the appearance in a person of thoughts or actions that are perceived by him as something alien. A person cannot get rid of them: obsessions make him perform certain actions, while becoming the cause of debilitating mental discomfort.
Manifestations of obsessional neurosis
The most common manifestation of obsessional neurosis is fear, which is very difficult, and sometimes almost impossible, to overcome. Phobias greatly complicate social contacts, work and all other aspects of life.
Another variant of neurosis is, in fact, obsessive thoughts that a person cannot “drive” out of his head. These thoughts interfere with learning, concentration of attention and greatly tire the patient. An important criterion: a person with an obsessional neurosis never realizes his thoughts. The last kind is compulsive . It is manifested by obsessive movements, excessive ritualism.
Examples of obsessional neurosis
It is very easy to explain the essence of this phenomenon with examples. Let’s say you believe that you shouldn’t look in the mirror before you leave the house. However, if you accidentally look in the mirror, you will still leave the house without attaching much importance to it.
Or, for example, a black cat on the road will not make you reschedule your business: you may be a little worried, but soon forget about it. A person with compulsive obsessions, after looking in the mirror, will bolt the door and stay at home all day, and, having met a black cat, will go to the pharmacy for sedatives.
As you can see, obsessional neurosis greatly complicates the patient’s life. So, we can say confidently and definitely: this disease definitely needs treatment, and the treatment must be professional and complete.
Treatment of obsessional neurosis
We found out what this disorder is, what is its danger. Let’s return to the main question: how to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder? There are several options here. It is best to combine them, if possible, because this is how you can achieve the best result.
Here is what is in the “arsenal” of a psychiatrist for patients with obsessive neurosis:
– antidepressants of various types and generations;
– funds that normalize mood ( normotimics );
Now let’s look at each of these points in more detail.
Antidepressants are a group of drugs that affect certain active substances in the brain. By changing the balance of these active substances, and acting differently on the same substance, antidepressants change the speed and orientation of many mental processes, mood and general condition.
In the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, antidepressants occupy a central place, because only they can restore the possibility of normal communication and full socialization to a person. Proper use of antidepressants guarantees long-term remission without relapse. Sometimes a course of treatment (of course, combined) is enough for a person to get rid of neurosis for life.
In recent years, there have been quite a lot of antidepressants: fundamentally new substances have been synthesized that have fewer side effects, are safer and more effective. Old drugs are gradually leaving the practice of psychiatrists (although they remain in the practice of doctors of other specialties). It is unlikely that a psychiatrist will prescribe you amitriptyline or a similar drug: much more effective substances are now available, the use of which gives a stable, good result without the risk of relapses or treatment failure.
The most popular are antidepressants that affect serotonin receptors. These drugs do not cause drug dependence and have relatively few contraindications. One significant disadvantage of this group of drugs: in the first week of treatment, almost all patients complain of severe, exhausting nausea.
Normotimics are drugs used to correct mood: they ensure its stability, stability and constancy. Interestingly, there is not a single drug that would belong to this group and was created only to normalize mood. All such drugs (even the ancient preparation from lithium salts) originally had a different purpose, and the normothymic effect is a kind of pleasant bonus.
If a person suffers from an obsessive neurosis, his treatment will necessarily include drugs that normalize mood. Like antidepressants, normothymic drugs affect the main links in the pathogenesis of obsessional neurosis, and their combination is considered the most effective method of treatment.
The most commonly used carbamazepine and its derivatives. This drug is still used to treat epilepsy (moreover, its various types), but in addition to the anticonvulsant effect, carbamazepine also has a pronounced normothymic effect. By the way, carbamazepine is a substance that was synthesized from a strong antidepressant. To some extent, this explains such an action and high efficiency in the treatment of obsessive thoughts and, in particular, obsessive movements ( compulsions ).
One of the most important aspects of the treatment of obsessions is psychotherapy. Perhaps you notice fear or obsessive thoughts behind you, or maybe you observe obsessive movements in your child, contact a psychiatrist. In this situation, individual psychotherapy is indicated.
The most common direction is behavioral psychotherapy based on neuro-linguistic programming or “body” orientation. After all, in a sense, obsessions are behavioral disorders, so treatment should be directed at him. Behavioral psychotherapy can be combined with suggestive psychotherapy (rarely used as a single treatment).
Suggestion is what is called “suggestion”. This technique is carried out, as a rule, after preliminary preparation: a person is immersed in a state of medical or natural sleep, hypnosis, etc. Sometimes suggestion is practiced with an awake person, who, of course, should be calm and relaxed. This state is most easily achieved with sedatives, although experienced psychotherapists can do without them.
Treating obsessive-compulsive disorder with a psychiatrist – safely and effectively
Here is an approximate scheme for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. There are no insulin lumps, electroconvulsive therapy or CSF cooling. Only fairly soft drugs and strictly individual, accurate psychotherapy. Neuroses, as a rule, can be cured. To do this, you just need to see a doctor in time, discarding all the usual social prejudices.
Believe me, it’s not scary.