Are You Dealing With Severe OCD Symptoms And Looking For More Help?


Phoebe Kranefuss

February 4, 2019

Partnership with AMITA Health

Lots of people in our community have been asking great questions about what they can do when treatment doesn’t seem to be working. What if my weekly therapy sessions aren’t enough? What if the severity of my OCD is leading to severe depression or substance use? What if I’ve tried every option I can think of, but just continue to feel worse?

People whose symptoms are the most severe are often dealing with constant cycles of upsetting thoughts and taxing compulsions, which cause them to feel overwhelmed, scared, exhausted, and depressed. They urgently need high-quality, effective care, but often don’t know where to go or how to get it. Some turn to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol in an effort to drown out the thoughts and get some short-term relief. But using substances to cope with obsessions creates a major health risk, and often makes OCD symptoms far more severe in the long run, driving people into a vicious cycle of OCD and addiction.

A man standing alone

This is a major problem, which studies show affects around 25% of people with OCD. And we want to address it. That’s why we’ve decided to provide more support to community members with the most severe symptoms who are also at the highest risk of developing substance use disorders by partnering with experts in OCD and addiction. AMITA Health offers a full continuum of care for OCD, addiction, and comorbid disorders, providing evidence-based, OCD-specific treatment at all levels of care. From outpatient therapy groups and partial hospitalization programs to residential treatment with round-the-clock support and supervision, their options enable people to progress through tiers of treatment that are right for them.

We decided to partner with AMITA because they’re committed to top-notch, evidence-based care. The program is run by world-renowned OCD expert Patrick McGrath, PhD, who has trained clinicians all over the world in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP) for OCD, and is also the author of The OCD Answer Book and Don’t Try Harder, Try Different. He works in partnership with Sarah Briley, EdD, LCPC, CADC, Clinical Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at AMITA Health and the Foglia Residential Center.

Dr. McGrath has dedicated his life to helping people with OCD. As he told us, “Working with OCD patients is amazingly rewarding. I have gotten to see people get their lives back, start to smile and laugh again, and re-engage in their families and careers. That people trust me to guide them through this journey is humbling, and continues to inspire me to help all of my patients challenge their fears and live a value-based life again.” So yeah, he gets it.

There are tons of reasons to consider OCD treatment options that provide more support than typical one-on-one therapy sessions. If you’re interested in learning more about AMITA’s options, or if you’d like to ask questions about insurance benefits, logistics, or anything else, we’d love to hear from you. Just fill out this form, and AMITA’s program liaison, Shannon, will get in touch with you. (You can inquire on behalf of a loved one, too!)

Phoebe helps bring new treatment options and research opportunities to the NOCD community. She's from the San Francisco Bay Area and loves rock climbing, reading, and dogs.

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