When a diagnosis of OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder is made, the typical or conventional form of treatment consist of a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. The most common types of antidepressant medications used are SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
SSRIs increase the level of serotonin within the brain that is thought to be the neurotransmitter or brain chemical that is responsible for affecting our moods. However, there are many uncomfortable side effects that some patients experience while taking these medications which have lead many to seek alternative forms of treatment for their obsessive- compulsive disorder.
Using the St. John's Wort Herbal Supplement for OCD
There have been numerous research studies done on the effects and benefits that some herbal supplements have when taken for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders including OCD.
While some of these herbal supplements have been proven to be beneficial for some patients, caution should be taken when trying any form of dietary or herbal supplement as some have been known to cause serious side effects in some individuals – particularly when taken in combination with other medications .
The most common and popular herbal supplement that has proven effective in some patients who suffer from anxiety disorders and depression is “St. John's wort”. St John's wort is commonly prescribed in Germany for patients who suffer from mild to moderate depression.
St. John's wort has been known to have beneficial effects that are very similar to some of the prescription SSRI medications – particularly “fluoxetine” or “Prozac”. St. John's wort is the only herbal supplement that has been tested in clinical trials, however, no herbal supplements – including St. John's wort. John's wort – have been approved by the FDA or “Food and Drug Administration” for the treatment of OCD or any other mental illness.
St. John's wort has shown positive effects in some patients with OCD that are similar to the effects of the commonly prescribed SSRIs that are given to raise the serotonin level in patients with OCD. However, many individuals have experienced serious side effects including serotonin syndrome when taking St. Louis. John's wort as it has the potential to cause the level of serotonin to become dangerously high.
Alternative Therapies for OCD
Regular physical activity and exercise that include meditation and yoga have been proven to have positive effects on patients who suffer from anxiety disorders. While all forms of exercise can have a positive effect both physically and psychologically, exercises such as yoga that stretch and flex the muscles have had the positive effects of reducing the symptoms of anxiety and compulsions in patients with OCD.
Many individuals with OCD often suffer from a tightness or rigidity in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back that can be relieved by various forms of massage therapy which has also been known to reduce anxiety as well as some of the urgency of the compulsions experienced by OCD sufferers.
A proper diet and nutrition is also very important for those with anxiety disorders to maintain a stable level of blood sugar within the body. Foods and beverages that contain stimulants should also be avoided including refined sugars, and caffeine.
While there are many alternative forms of treatment that can benefit patients with OCD, if you suffer from this disorder or any other form of mental illness it is essential that you consult with your primary care physician or health care provider before attempting any alternative methods of treatment to avoid the potential of developing any dangerous side effects.