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Surgery shows promise for severe obsessive compulsive disorder

The Social Security disability program isn't limited to covering purely physical injuries or illnesses; rather, it also covers some mental conditions. One of the mental illnesses included in SSDI is severe obsessive compulsive disorder, otherwise known as OCD. Certainly, financial support may be necessary for someone who is adversely affected by this particular condition, but advances in treatments can provide a different kind of relief.

People who are living with OCD are often compelled to repeat certain actions and behaviors, sometimes for hours at a time. Medication can be prescribed, but it doesn't always work. Being unable to avoid certain actions or clear certain thoughts from one's mind can make very basic tasks essentially impossible. This is why receiving relief from severe OCD symptoms is often of critical importance.

Researchers recently conducted a study that involved a form of "psychosurgery," which is a practice considered by some to be "very controversial." In this case, doctors created permanent lesions on a specific portion of the brain. Those who were included in this study had very severe OCD and many of them saw noticeable improvements in the severity and frequency of their symptoms.

Since the type of surgery included in this most recent study could raise objections and is performed only under very specific circumstances, medical researchers are looking for other options, especially for those who don't experience improvements by taking medication. One treatment involves stimulating certain areas of the brain with implanted devices, but that also has limitations.

Living with a mental condition, such as OCD, can be very difficult. Thankfully, however, more and more research is being done to identify and treat these conditions effectively. While scientists search for clearer answers, it may be helpful for Pittsburgh residents dealing with mental illness to consider other options currently available.

Source: Yahoo News, "Brain Surgery Is an Option for Patients with Severe OCD, Study Suggests," Rachael Rettner, June 3, 2013

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