The biological approach to treating OCD

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  • The biological approach to treating OCD
      • Changing levels of neurotransmit-ters = drug therapy aims to increase or decrease levels or activity
      • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) = these prevent the re-absorption or breakdown of serotonin - to increase levels in the synapse and compensate for what is wrong.
      • Typical dosage = Fluoxetine is often 20mg - they need to be taken daily for 3-4 months to have an impact on symptoms
      • SSRIs and CBT = drugs reduce emotional symptoms so patients can engage more with CBT
      • TRICYCLICS = same as SSRIs but have more severe side effects Clomipramine
      • SNRIs = serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor - increase serotonin as well as noradrenaline
      • A strength is that drug therapy is effective at combating symptoms = Soomro et al  (2009) showed SSRIs compared to placebos were much better
      • Another strength is that drugs are cost-effective and non-disruptive = cheap and so good value for the NHS, they also don't require the hardwork of CBT
      • A limitation is that the drugs have side-effects = indigestion, blurred vision.
      • A further limitation is that evidence is unreliable = some believe evidence  favouring drug treatments are biased as sponsored by drug companies
      • Another limitation is that OCD can sometimes occur after trauma = so it may not be appropriate to treat with drugs


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