Although there are many effective treatments for OCD, some people have what is called treatment resistant OCD. Up to a third of people with OCD have treatment resistant OCD and do not respond to standard treatment protocols. Here are some options to consider when coping with treatment resistant OCD.
1. Explore Reasons Why Your Medication May Not Be Working
Although there are many FDA approved medications available for the treatment of OCD, medications do not seem to work for one-third of people’s OCD symptoms. There are many reasons why this can happen and there are things you can do about it.
2. Consider Augmentation Treatment Strategies
Augmentation therapy treats OCD symptoms with medication. This strategy improves the odds of relieving symptoms by using combinations of drugs, rather than a single drug. Augmentation antidepressant treatment may be helpful for people who do not achieve remission with mono-therapy.
3. Explore Reasons Why Psychotherapy May Not Be Working
Although psychological treatments have come to the forefront in the treatment of OCD, they are not always effective. There are many reasons why psychotherapy for OCD may not be working for you and there are things can do about it.
4. Investigate Intensive Treatment Programs
While there are many effective medical and psychological treatments available for OCD, not all treatments work for everybody. Unfortunately, for some people nothing seems to be effective. To combat this, a number of intensive residential OCD treatment programs have been developed.
5. Consider Taking Part in a Clinical Trial
There are a number of reasons why people with OCD consider taking part in a clinical research trial. For starters, clinical trials often offer cutting edge treatments that are not yet widely available to the public.
6. Explore Psychosurgery and Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant OCD
Although a number of medications and psychological therapies are available for OCD, it has been estimated that between 25 and 40% of people will not respond to treatment. A very small minority of individuals with OCD have symptoms severe enough to consider brain surgery. Surgical procedures for OCD involve inactivating certain brain regions that are responsible for the symptoms associated with OCD. In most cases, approximately 50% to 70% of people who have these procedures see a significant improvement in symptoms. One of these neurosurgical procedures is deep brain stimulation, which appears promising although it is still in the experimental stage and often considered a last resort.