Q: i have ocd…and lately its been crazy…i knock on wood about 600 times a day…im obsessed with the fact that i “might go blind” (even tho i don’t have any symptoms of that…jsut trouble focusing)…i check things over and over and over.(make sure everything is unplugged before i go to bed …make sure the stove is off..doors are locked…and when i go out i check the contents of my purse numerous times to make sure i have everything…and i have to stare at it to convince myself…and then 2 min later ih ave to check again..sometimes right away after)…i also have to do alot of things in threes (either 3 times or 3 sets of 3 or, 3 sets of 3 sets of 3)..and there is more but u get the idea…do you know a medication i could ask my doctor about?…and/or coping strategies??? thanks

A: You’re right. You have significant OCD and it is significantly interfering with your life! All that checking must eat up hours every day. Yes, there are medications that can be very helpful. I’m not a psychiatrist so I’m not up on the treatment of choice right now. Some of my former clients got relief from Prozac as well as some of the other antidepressants. A drug called Anafranil has been around the longest and has also been found to be effective. But only a psychiatrist can help you find the right medication for you. You can find more information on the website for the OCD Foundation: www.ocfoundation.org.

There are things you can learn to do to settle down the obsession and compulsions. I suggest you get the book called “Stop Obsessing!: How to Overcome Your Obsessions and Compulsions (Revised Edition)” by Edna B. Foa and Reid Wilson. I think reading it will help you feel better about yourself and will give you some tools to help yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie