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Can I Overcome Depression Without Medication?

Sunlight shining through trees with text Can I Overcome OCD without medication

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic anxiety disorder characterized by frequent, intrusive thoughts, intense and uncomfortable feelings, and time-consuming, repetitive behaviors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), OCD affects approximately 2.2 million adults in the United States or one percent of the population. It can be difficult to diagnose this disorder because many of the symptoms overlap with other anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia. It’s also not uncommon to have both OCD and another mental health disorder.

What’s important is to work with your doctor to receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. If you have been diagnosed with OCD, you may be wondering whether you can overcome the symptoms of the disorder without medication. The answer is: yes. When you turn to Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., for OCD treatment in Carrollwood, he and his team will use customized short-term treatments, such as yoga and meditation, to produce long-term results, without the need for medication.

Related: How the Top Psychiatrist in Brandon Treats PTSD and OCD With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Finding Healthy Outlets to Channel Your Energy

Dr. Trivedi uses a unique approach to treating OCD known as MindBody Integrated that incorporates the latest medical research with patient-centered care and positive psychology. Self-healing is at the core of this approach, as well as the idea that all three dimensions of the patient’s self must be incorporated into the treatment plan to yield the best outcome in the shortest amount of time. Medication is seldom the first or only option. Instead, his team encourages their patients to seek healthy outlets in which to channel their energy, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, muscle relaxation, and more.

The idea is that these activities provide you with balance, help ease you into a relaxed state of mind, and provide you with almost immediate relief from stress and anxiety. Meditation, in particular, is great for relieving symptoms of OCD, such as intrusive thoughts, because it allows you to pay attention to the present moment without the need for judgment. You’re able to recognize that the intrusive thoughts you’re feeling are just that — thoughts. Any time your mind begins to wander to a place of stress or confusion, you acknowledge the thought with compassion before letting it go and refocusing your attention. 

Related: Understanding the MindBody Approach to Depression and Anxiety

Reaping the Full Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Another modality Dr. Trivedi and his team utilize in treating OCD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of treatment that helps individuals with OCD cope with and change their impulsive thoughts and behaviors through the use of two evidence-based techniques: Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) and Cognitive Therapy (CT). These techniques are designed to reverse the associations that occur in the disorder — the association between thoughts/situations and sensations of distress and the association between obsessive behaviors and a decrease in sensations of distress. 

During ERP and CT sessions provided by a psychiatrist in Carrollwood, you’re slowly exposed to situations that trigger your obsessions and compulsions. Over time, you’ll learn not only how to respond differently to the triggering situations but also how to identify and modify common patterns of thought that may be causing sensations of distress. Essentially, you’re confronting your obsessions and compulsions from a different, more positive angle. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can take back your life from your disorder and strengthen the natural healing process, request an appointment with Dr. Trivedi.

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