For many sufferers of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other types of anxiety, deciding to seek help can be a difficult decision to make. Once that decision is made, another choice is required: what kind of help is best for me? Two of the most researched treatment options available are pharmacological treatment (medication) and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Many people will prefer one or the other, saying, “Oh, I would never want to take medication unless I had to,” or alternatively, “Just give me the pill, what’s the big deal?” This is a very personal choice that each person must make [Read more…]
A recent meditation study out of California has recently garnered significant publicity.
I will take this example as an opportunity to comment on media coverage of current brain research. It should be no surprise to anyone that the brain is the most complex organs in the body, and the most difficult to understand. Despite the frequent headlines about scientific advances, researchers have only a relatively primitive understanding of how the brain works. Some areas are well understood as very important to, say, breathing or balance. However, [Read more…]
ERP and ExRP are kinds of psychotherapy used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). ERP stands for Exposure and Response Prevention. Innovations in this psychotherapy over the past ten years resulted in its being given a new name: Exposure and Ritual Prevention (ExRP). The two therapies are similar, and both build on core behavioral therapy concepts. The purpose of this article is to provide information about what these therapies involve, and how they might be helpful to people suffering from OCD.
OCD is a psychological disorder that has been documented for thousands of years. OCD is characterized by the presence of either obsessions, compulsions, or both. Obsessions can be thought of as intrusive thoughts that cause anxiety. They are difficult to get rid of, despite one’s best efforts. Compulsions are activities, often performed repetitively. We often experience anxiety when we are not able to perform the compulsion.
For several decades after the early psychoanalysts wrote about obsessions (starting in the late nineteenth century), treatment for OCD would typically involve psychoanalysis that strove to root out the unconscious cause for an obsession. [Read more…]
A stem cell transplant (SCT) or bone marrow transplant (BMT) is a procedure used in treatment of various types of lymphoma, leukemia, and some other cancers and disorders of the blood. These procedures are also referred to as hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT). While this procedure has existed for decades, it came into more common use in the early 1990’s. The effectiveness of transplant varies according to the diagnosis, age, and health of the recipient. The present article aims to give general information about the experience of transplant, and purposely omits statistical information and other specifics. If you are considering bone marrow or stem cell transplant as a treatment option, please consult with your doctor for the most accurate, personally applicable, [Read more…]
A recent study in the Archives of General Psychiatry examined the relationship between our thoughts and our mood. In the July 2006 issue, Zindel Segal and colleagues from the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto write about a study they conducted on people with a history of recurrent depression. Their results showed that for those with recurrent depression but who are currently [Read more…]