Why Isn't My OCD Treatment Working?
Psychological treatments are often put forward as the most effective way of overcoming OCD (sometimes in conjunction with OCD medication) but while they work well for many OCD sufferers, they won't always do the trick. This can be because of a number of reasons and finding the treatment that works for you can simply be a matter of working out why your OCD treatment may not be working and making changes to address this problem.
Not Being Committed EnoughPsychological treatments for OCD involve completing exercises as 'homework' outside of the regular therapy sessions and this can be an additional burden that feels like too much effort. If you don't have the necessary commitment or motivation to put in the effort outside of therapy sessions, you won't find them as useful. This 'homework' is designed to make you think critically about your symptoms and behaviour and helps you to tackle them, which tends to be much more helpful than just talking things through in your therapy sessions and it also provides additional food for thought for your therapist during your treatment sessions.
Receiving Untested Forms of TreatmentsCognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy are the preferred options for psychological treatments as they have been scientifically proven to be beneficial for treating OCD symptoms. While CBT and ERP therapy won't suit all OCD sufferers, psychological treatments that aren't proven to be effective for treating OCD are more likely to fail due to the fact that their results haven't been extensively tested.
Being Held Back By Family MembersIt's not uncommon for family members to offer little or nothing in the way of support, especially if they don't really understand OCD. If you're feeling isolated or stressed due to a lack of support from the people around you, this can hamper the effectiveness of your treatment. Bring this issue to the attention of your therapist as he or she can factor this into your treatment plan and provide extra support to help you deal with the situation.
On the other hand, you may have family members who show too much support and this can be just as dangerous. For example, family members will sometimes participate in your compulsive rituals with you (known as 'enabling') as they mistakenly believe that this means that they are being supportive of your OCD. This can hinder your progress and cancel out the effects of CBT and ERP therapy, which both aim to discourage you from performing compulsive rituals. If a family member is demonstrating 'enabling', encourage him or her to show their support in ways that won't stunt your recovery from OCD. For example, suggest that they inform themselves of the condition and the various forms of treatment so that they have a better understanding of what is beneficial and what isn't.