Clinical treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder

Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2005 Nov;2(11):34-43.


Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) was once thought to be extremely rare, but recent epidemiological studies have shown it to be the fourth most common psychiatric disorder (after substance abuse, specific phobias, and major depression). OCD is often a chronic disorder that produces significant morbidity when not properly diagnosed and treated. The mainstay of treatment includes cognitive behavioral therapy and medication management. The use of clomipramine in the 1960s and then the introduction of serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the 1980s represented important advances in the pharmacologic treatment of OCD. Despite effective treatment modalities, many patients demonstrate only a partial response or are resistant to available medications. SRI-resistant OCD is one of the few diagnoses in modern psychiatry for which invasive neurosurgical procedures remain part of the established treatment armamentarium. We review current treatment strategies used in the management of OCD symptoms.