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Hi I’m looking for advice. My brother has ocd (compulsions) and it has got worse since lockdown started. I am trying to convince him to speak to the doctor and get medication but he is scared in case it makes him worse or doesn’t work. Is anyone currently on medication? How long did it take to work? 

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Hi Sara :welcome:

I'm afraid I'm one of those people who didn't get on too well with medication, but many members of the community here have had the opposite experience with little to no early side effects and found them helpful in their recovery.

Unfortunately there's just no way of knowing how your brother will react to taking an SSRI without him giving them a go. We have a bit more info here that might be helpful weighing-up the pros and cons....

http://www.ocduk.org/overcoming-ocd/medication/

......But so long as he goes into it with his eyes open and you both watch out for any severe side effects, I think he should be fine giving them a trial for around a month and going from there. If at any point though he or you are concerned, you mustn't hesitate to have a word with his doctor. It's quite rare, but unfortunately they can sometimes make people feel suicidal...but as I say, so long as you keep an eye on things he should be okay.

Medication might help, but the main way forward for your brother will be for him to access Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). That's really the non-negotiable part of treating OCD. If you can persuade him to see his doctor, they'll be able to refer him for it...but hold firm on that if they suggest only medication. We have this GP Icebreaker here that might also be helpful:

https://www.ocduk.org/gp-ice-breaker/

I hope you can persuade him to take the next step, it's really important to get support sooner rather than later. 

Good luck.

Hal:)

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Hi Hal. Thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it. The links you sent are very helpful. 

I’ve heard of the medication having made no difference to people or them suffering from bad side effects. I am just scared that if my brother does go to the GP the medication might make him worse but if my brother does manage to speak to them we will definitely ask for a referral for CBT.
 

Thanks

Sara 

 

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Hi Sara,

CBT will honestly make a huge difference to how he's feeling, but if you struggle getting him to see his GP, there is always the self-help route. Even with professional help it always helps to read-up as much as you can about overcoming OCD....these are all recommended by the charity:

'Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' by Dr David Veale and Rob Wilson.

'How to Deal with OCD' by Dr Elizabeth Forrester

and,  'Break Free From OCD' by Dr Fiona Challacombe, Paul Salkovskis, and Victoria Bream Oldfield.

Meds wise though, your brother could well be absolutely fine with them, but if he isn't you'll both be aware of the signs to watch out for, and know what to do to help him through. I really don't think he should worry. 

Please let us know how it goes if you can persuade him.

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