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How to manage obsessive compulsive disorder?

Q: I was diagnosed with depression and obsessive compulsive disorder 4 years back. I was under psychiatric treatment for 4-6 months with medicines Serlift and Prodep. Things started improving and I discontinued the drugs. For the past 7 months I have started rechecking on things at work. Fear started gripping me and I could not do basic things as if someone was ruling my brain. I used to keep thinking about the things I have done and start worrying and things became worse. I went to various doctors, who gave me health capsules and advised leave. I went on leave but found no relief. At last I visited a psychiatrist. I joined a computer course within the treatment period. But this plan didn't bring anything concrete as the whole IT market collapsed. Last year I changed my job and did something which I never expected to do. But from the past 3 months I have started showing compulsive disorder again. My married life is also not that good as there are conflicts at home. I forget things even after checking them. I fear to withdraw from the ATM, cut cheques, the list is endless. In my worst moods, whatever I think, I develop some sort of negativity and fear factor against it and it becomes a part of life. In my childhood I used to perform all tasks unwillingly. In my early twenties I was worried about height. I indulged in all stupid acts and thoughts like avoiding crowded places or short people or keep on comparing heights etc. Those things were nightmare for me at that time but I have improved to a great extent. But I still can't get rid of various thoughts, particularly of buying or wearing shoes or slippers. I do all sort of microscopic view. If my mind goes towards fear and bad thoughts, they repeatedly strike and spread to all my activities. Whatever I do in my job brings fear. Every activity of mine is attached with some fear factor. I don't want to go to a psychiatrist. Please advise.

A:Your symptoms are suggestive of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). What needs to be understood that this illness is essentially caused by neurotransmitter imbalance and serotonin has a role to play here. Although circumstances may affect the course of the illness and treatment, they are not considered causative. You need to consult a psychiatrist, and start the indicated medications. Alongside you must take CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions which would help you in handling and gradually come over the compulsive behaviour. When both medication and therapy are given together, there is a better treatment response.

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