Online treatment for OCD sufferers

December 2, 2013 by Denise Cahill, Science Network WA

Western Australian researchers have developed the first online treatment program for young people with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Curtin University researchers Associate Professor Clare Rees and Dr Rebecca Anderson designed the program for those aged between 12 and 18 to help them overcome the anxiety disorder.

The 'OCD? Not Me!' program has received more than $450,000 in funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and will run for the next two-and-a-half years.

Dr Anderson says there is around half a million young Australians diagnosed with OCD.

People with OCD may have rituals or strong compulsions to do certain things repeatedly in order to banish daunting or negative thoughts.

This can include repeated hand washing, checking of doors, switches and appliances, to having to complete mental check-lists or keeping objects in straight lines.

The program targets about to or who are going through adolescence and the teenage years—a period of big change.

"One thing that we know is that stress really impacts on OCD and ... obviously adolescence is very stressful so it is not surprising that we see a lot of onset at that age," she says.

The online program is eight modules in length (participants do a module a week) and is designed to take them through the steps of overcoming their OCD.

"It is set up with what we call the mountain metaphor, so this idea that you need to work through stages," she says.

"You can't overcome OCD in one go just like you can't climb Mt Everest. You have got to work your way through it gradually."

The program involves the entire family—something Dr Anderson says had possibly not been a component in other programs.

"There has been quite a bit of research on the impact having someone with OCD can have in a family and those impacts are quite significant," she says.

Family members can also inadvertently help keep the OCD going in the child by, for example buying them hand sanitiser so the program also gives them advice to help reduce that accommodation.

Dr Anderson says the online component will allow people all over Australia to access the program whether they live in rural or regional areas or WA cities.

"This is the first OCD specific program for children and adolescents of its kind," she says.

"It is exciting for us to be involved at that level to roll it out at that level."

Explore further: 'Exposure therapy' along with antidepressants may help with OCD

More information: For more information, see www.ocdnotme.com.au/

Related Stories

'Exposure therapy' along with antidepressants may help with OCD

September 11, 2013
(HealthDay)—New research suggests that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder do better when they combine intensive "exposure therapy" with an antidepressant rather than taking a common two-drug combination.

New dot com clinic treating people with OCD online

August 1, 2011
Researchers at Macquarie University are developing an innovative approach to helping people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The team at the eCentreClinic are exploring the use of internet-based treatments to provide ...

The difference between obsession and delusion

September 4, 2013
Because animals can't talk, researchers need to study their behavior patterns to make sense of their activities. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University are using these zoological methods to study people with serious mental ...

Surgery for obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers is safe and effective

June 3, 2013
Around half of people with an extreme form of obsessive compulsive disorder responded well to a type of psychosurgery that proved to be safe and effective, according to research published online in the Journal of Neurology, ...

When the ladybug has to count her spots

December 1, 2011
About two percent of all children suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which consists of obsessive thoughts and acts. Obsessive thoughts are intrusive thoughts such as fear or contamination, injury or violent ...

Mothers and OCD children trapped in rituals have impaired relationships

April 10, 2012
A new study from Case Western Reserve University finds mothers tend to be more critical of children with obsessive-compulsive disorder than they are of other children in the family. And, that parental criticism is linked ...

Recommended for you

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Reducing sessions of trauma-focused psychotherapy does not affect effectiveness

January 17, 2018
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) patients treated with as few as five sessions of trauma-focused psychotherapy find it equally effective as receiving 12 sessions.

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

How past intentions influence generosity toward the future

January 17, 2018
Over time, it really is the thought that counts – provided we know what that thought was, suggests new research from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

Tracking the impact of early abuse and neglect

January 17, 2018
Children who experience abuse and neglect early in life are more likely to have problems in social relationships and underachieve academically as adults.

Study: No evidence to support link between violent video games and behaviour

January 16, 2018
Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.