Mental Health Chat: Treating OCD
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We are bringing awareness to the 2 million individuals in the United States affected with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The UF Health Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Program offers intensive treatment for those looking for relief from their symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most effective techniques for reducing symptoms and alleviating the depression often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD.
This summer, UF Health is hosting Fear Facers Day Camp. Children and adolescents with OCD and/or anxiety are invited to join us this summer for a one- or two-week camp session starting July 24. In addition to daily therapy, children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder will experience activities that allow for personal growth and improved behaviors, while having fun.
UF Health also offers an outpatient intensive treatment program that is one of a few in the state. The UF Health Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Program features cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, which has been shown to reduce symptoms by at least 50 percent. OCD is an illness that affects children, adolescents and adults and is characterized by recurrent and disturbing thoughts, called obsessions, and/or repetitive, ritualized behaviors that the person feels driven to perform, called compulsions.
OCD has a major effect on an individual’s life and often can be difficult to treat successfully; however, it is possible to reduce symptoms with CBT. This comprehensive treatment approach exposes triggers and teaches patients to resist compulsions, with 85 percent of patients experiencing positive results. CBT plays a major role in the treatment, teaching patients to respond to anxious thoughts in an adaptive and realistic manner.
The OCD Program at UF Health Medical Psychology offers intensive outpatient and weekly CBT treatment programs with pharmacological treatment coordinated as needed. Over an average of three weeks, patients meet with their designated therapist for about an hour each day. They also receive assignments from their therapist that encourage therapeutic exercises while not in session. The UF Health OCD team continues to care for the patient even after the program ends by collaborating with health care providers and caretakers.
To learn more about the UF Health Fear Facers Day Camp, visit our Facebook page or call 352.265.4623 to with someone about enrollment.