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Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience:  Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
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OCD

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My doctor thinks I have OCD. On 60 mg Cymbalta/2 yrs.   Tried to stop and began crying.    I don't wash my hands and don't have fear.  What about ""typing" words with my teeth, toes and fingers.  I make hand-made cards into the wee hours of the morning night after night.   In buying grandson a tie, I bought 30 for his mom to narrow down.  Then he decided.  I have too much furniture and stuff and am addicted to yard sales.  In rearranging furniture, I used up a big spinal notebook, sketching floor plan and rearranging again and again.   


 


 


Doctor Blake :

Good evening and thanks for writing to JA.

Doctor Blake :

OCD is a VERY treatable condition, provided you receive proper treatment. While the use of an SSRI or SNRI is often employed as the drug of choice for anxiety disorders (such as OCD) and depression, it is not as effective as the drug IN COMBINATION with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Doctor Blake :

CBT is a very specialized form of therapy that is provided by a Psychologist, Counselor, or Social Worker with specific training in CBT. Unlike traditional "talk therapy," in which a patient may stumble upon a cure once s/he gains enough insight into their problems, CBT uses specific strategies and methods to change thoughts/feelings (cognitions) and actions (behaviors) that lead to the disorder (in your case, OCD).

Doctor Blake :

More specifically for OCD, there is a form of CBT called Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP). (Yes, I know, lots of letters in this response.) ERP has been demonstrated to significantly alleviate cognitions and behaviors related to OCD in a very brief period of time. (Some research suggests that ERP may even be *more* effective than medication for the treatment of OCD!)

Doctor Blake :

I would strongly urge you to speak to your physician about your plan to see a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist who can provide ERP (the best) or at least CBT to you to address your OCD. Make sure your physician is willing/able to team with the mental health professional providing the treatment. As you experience changes that may well happen after you commence ERP, the doctor will need to be made aware of this, in the event that medications may need to be changed.

Doctor Blake :

When searching for your mental health therapist (again Psychologist, Counselor, or Social Worker) is would be very specific about your needs. Ask them if they employ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Have they ever worked with someone with OCD? Have they ever used the Exposure with Response Prevention technique to address OCD symptoms? You might have to do a little "shopping around," but it's OK for you to be demanding about your health care! YOU DESERVE IT.

Doctor Blake :

Finally, you should know that, of all the mental diseases, anxiety and depression are among the most successfully treated. And among anxiety disorders, OCD and phobias are the most responsive to CBT/ERP! You have a great deal to be hopeful about! I hope you are successful in finding a qualified CBT therapist to address your concerns.

Doctor Blake :

Thanks. I hope this was helpful. Please click ACCEPT unless you have other questions or concerns.

Customer:

Thank you for your response. So, in your opinion, I do have OCD? Which of the examples of behaviors that I listed would definitely indicate that? If I have the ability to make myself stop doing these behaviors to some extent, i.e. the typing with toes, fingers, teeth, sometimes simultaneously, that's not enough. Are you saying that their is an underlying cause for making me have these behaviors and the type of counseling you are advising would stop the behaviors themselves. My doctor has wanted me to get counseling but she was not specific and when the doctor she recommended was not taking any new patients, I would not accept someone else in his practice who was not as well qualified (i.e. myu insurance would not pay for). Thanks for the additional information on "type".

Doctor Blake :

I'm sorry, but it would be both unethical and unprofessional to diagnose over the internet without having conducted a face-to-face interview (at minimum). So, I can only rely on the diagnosis provided by your physician.

Doctor Blake :

The symptoms you relate may very well be related to an underlying OCD.

Doctor Blake :

With regard to the counseling, I would again urge you NOT to engage in traditional "talk therapy" (as this may actually exacerbate your symptoms) but to find a qualified CBT who can provide, at minimum, CBT techniques or, at best, ERP.

Doctor Blake :

OCD is very VERY treatable with the correct CBT techniques.

Doctor Blake :

Best of luck to you. Please click <ACCEPT> unless you have additional questions or concerns. Thanks!

Customer:

Thank you so much, Dr. Blake, for the helpful information/suggestions you sent me in response to my question(s) about OCD. I am very much pleased and will follow through.

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