Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Can you tell me a little bit about what the OCD is like for you? Can you describe any obsessions or compulsions you experience? Had you considered the possibility that the experience of repetitive music in your head may be related to the OCD?
Ok, that's good news.
You mentioned that you can stop the repetition through distraction or focusing your attention elsewhere. How do you usually manage your other compulsions when they are flaring?
We usually see both obsessions and compulsions intensify and diminish as a person's anxiety levels go up and down. So, the first step is to focus on managing your anxiety levels with the expectation that the OCD symptoms will diminish when your anxiety in general is lower. OCD obsessions and compulsions can be viewed as a best attempt at managing intense anxiety so we try to keep the focus off the symptoms and on the underline anxiety difficulty if possible.
However, there are many people who develop quite intense and disabling OCD that requires direct treatment of the symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely regarded as the gold standard therapy for intense obsessions and compulsions and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommends CBT as an effective treatment for OCD, see here. CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. Treatment is technique driven, brief, direct and time-limited (normally 10-12 sessions). CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications. If you are able to manage the compulsions through good general anxiety management then it would be my recommendation that they place your focus there. If not then I would suggest you try a self-help approach using a CBT based treatment manual. I can recommend a book titled Coping with OCD: Practical Strategies for Living Well with Obsessive-compulsive Disorder and another book titled Getting Over OCD: A 10-Step Workbook for Taking Back Your Life. You can find both of these books on www.Amazon.com .
If you decide you need some additional help then I would strongly recommend that you seek out a CBT trained therapist for an assessment and assistance. CBT is usually offered by Psychologists (although not exclusively) and you can contact the American Psychology Association for assistance in finding a suitably trained clinician. Take a look at the American Psychology Association's locator service here . You can use this to find Psychologists in your area and there is a phone number you can contact if you want a referral arranged for you. Also, take a look at an article published by the APA here. It's an interview with a senior Psychologist and covers some of the things you should consider when you looking for a Psychologist.
I hope this has been of some help. Please let me know if you have further questions or would like me to clarify any part of my answer. Best of luck!