Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychological condition that involves recurrent and persistent thoughts or images (obsessions) that are experienced as intrusive and cause distress. These obsessions are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems, but take on an unrealistic quality. In order to combat their obsessions, people with OCD engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions), often following rigid self-imposed rules.
The cause of OCD is not known. Antidepressant drugs that affect serotonin levels, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) , often relieve symptoms significantly, but the reasons for this are not clear. Psychotherapeutic and behavioral methods may also help.
Proposed Natural Treatments
The supplement inositol is thought to increase the body’s sensitivity to serotonin and on that basis it has been studied for use in a number of psychological conditions, including OCD.
Herbs and Supplements to Use Only With Caution
Various herbs and supplements may interact with drugs used to treat OCD. For more information on these potential risks see the individual drug article in the Drug Interactions section of this database.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -