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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5824
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Can OCD and general anxiety disorder be controlled/ cured by

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Can OCD and general anxiety disorder be controlled/ cured by Cognitive behavioral therapy ?

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
OCD is thought to be a chemically based disorder that can be controlled through therapy and medications. Sometimes therapy is enough to help control the symptoms. But because of the chemical imbalance, medication often helps as well.
Generalized Anxiety disorder can be treated with CBT and medications are not needed at all unless the anxiety is interfering with the person's ability to function in day to day. And anxiety can be cured through therapy alone.
With both OCD and anxiety, self help is also very beneficial. The more you can learn about OCD and anxiety, the more tools you have to help yourself. I would be happy to provide resources for both disorders if you would like. Just let me know.
I hope this has helped you,
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help in all questions you have answered….great service. I am 27 y/o and got out of the Air Force in 2010 after about 5 years. I loved the Air Force and the only reason I got out was to get a nursing degree and come right back in as an officer. I do not plan on reapplying to get back in to the Air Force until 2014 or 2015 after graduation. Unfortunately, when I got out in 2010 I had adjustment problems readjusting back to civil***** *****fe. I had depression and Obsessions about being a perfectionist ( the military taught me how to be a perfectionist and expected it). I hadn’t had any type of OCD symptoms or depression or been on medicine since I was 8 years old (I was diagnosed as a child, but eventually grew out of my rituals of hand washing and order).

I was suffering inside with depression, OCD, and adjusting, but I did not want to reach out to my local VA hospital (Veterans Affairs Hospital) because I didn’t want a paper trail of mental health issues since the military can see this since it is a VA hospital, I cannot hide it. I finally decided to make an appointment with mental health at the VA and saw a psychiatrist a few times and diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder in addition to already having my OCD reappear. My family doctor put me on 20 mg of Prozac at my request and Wellbutrin.

The military will not take me back without a mental health waiver and I cannot have been on medication for 12 months.

Here is my plan as well as my question. I have been working with my family psychiatrist on Cognitive behavioral therapy and have never tried this before. It is succeeding, but I have chosen to stay on meds since it helps in addition to CBT, but I need to get back to where I am not on any meds and I am confident I can do this with CBT. After this happens I want my doctor to write me a note showing that I have been able to function fine without medications. And am fit for military duty (I was off meds for 15 years before I went back on them). Is this a good plan? Any other suggestions?

You're welcome :)
Yes, it is possible that you can deal with the symptoms without medications, especially if you have done it before. You might want to try self help in addition to therapy to help you have the tools you need to go off medication so you can go back to the military. Here are some resources:
Also, try some of these ideas to help control any OCD symptoms you might have:
Learn to relax- this helps a lot because one of the main issues with OCD thoughts and compulsions is the anxiety you experience with them, triggering the urge to act out. So learning how to keep calm when dealing with these thoughts can help. Here is a link to help you learn Progressive Relaxation, one of the best ways to control your anxiety:
Write down your thoughts- by keeping a journal so you have a place to express your thoughts when they do bother you. It can also help to go back and see your progress or look at repeating patterns and how you handled them.
Make a list of activities- things you can do to distract yourself when you do experience OCD thoughts. Exercise, calling someone or watching a movie for example.
Repeating good thoughts- Make a list of thoughts that comfort you. "I am ok" "My doctor says I am fine" "I am healthy" etc. When you feel anxious or even when you just have a few moments in your day, read these thoughts through. It can help to have something to turn to when you feel your thoughts going in a bad direction.
Give yourself a break- realize that OCD is caused by physical imbalances in the brain as well as anxiety. So telling yourself things like "This is just a physical response and it is not my fault" or "I can control this any way I want" and doing another activity instead of giving in helps as well.
Do not give your obsession meaning- The more you focus on it, the more importance you give it. So treat it like it's nothing. "It's only my thoughts. It does not mean anything".
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