The College Student’s Guide to: Overcoming OCD

If you’ve been diagnosed with OCD, you’re not alone. There are effective treatments for OCD, many which may help you feel relief. It’s normal to be concerned about your symptoms, and there is absolutely no reason to be ashamed of having this disorder. What is important is learning how to control your OCD.
Why Haven’t I Heard of OCD Before Now?
OCD isn’t a new disorder, but it was not well understood, and little was published about its symptoms and treatment until recently.
What is Treatment for OCD? How Fast Does It Work?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), sometimes accompanied by medication is the gold standard treatment for OCD. In some ways, OCD is like other health conditions like asthma, allergies, or diabetes. When properly treated, these chronic conditions are manageable.
What about Medication? Can’t I just Take Pills?
Today’s easy answer for just about everything seems to be to take a pill. But for OCD, medication alone isn’t the best treatment.
Why is OCD happening to me now?
College life is a stressful time and can be extremely different from pre-college life at home. It is not unusual to first have OCD symptoms at college.
Could My Symptoms Be Some Other Mental Disorder?
A number of conditions frequently co-exist, or “partner” with OCD. Disorders that can occur with OCD, referred to as “comorbid” disorders, include depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders. Because of this, it can be confusing to try to sort out what your particular symptoms actually are.
What’s Wrong With Doing My Compulsions?
Continuing to perform rituals in response to your obsessions can actually make your OCD worse.
Where Can I Go For Help?
Start with your college or university’s student health center or counseling service. Tell them you think you might have OCD and want to see a behavior therapist. They may refer you to a therapist if there isn’t one at the center.
Can a Support Group Help Me?
A support group can provide information, encouragement and emotional support for people who have OCD. It can play a very important role, but it’s not a substitute for treatment.
When Money Is a Problem:
If your student health center is able to provide CBT, it may be covered under your student health insurance. If you need to go to a cognitive behavior therapist outside of the school, it could be more expensive. When money is an issue, it can present challenges to getting OCD treatment, but don’t give up.



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