Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, DD1 9SY

Compulsions, rituals, and repetitive behaviours

People often assume that if you have compulsions (or other ritualised behaviour) then you must have OCD. However, this isn't automatically the case since rituals and compulsions occur in other conditions, usually those associated with anxiety. This blog explores what we know about compulsions in Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) versus …

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Obsessions, ruminations, worries, and other intrusive thoughts

This post should be read alongside the post on compulsive behaviour and rituals. It is aimed at helping clinicians to differentiate between different types of 'intrusive' thought and to assist the diagnostic process. It covers the types of intrusive thoughts that can occur, and tries to summarise the key features of each. It is written …

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Behavioural modification (pacing) for OCD

This post is a summary of a poster that was presented at the EABCT conference in 2021. We talk about behavioural modification approaches for ritualised behaviour in OCD and other disorders. The full reference is as follows: Buick, R., Cockburn, C. & Christmas, D. (2021) Applying a transdiagnostic approach to treating ritualised behaviour in specialised …

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Antipsychotic augmentation in OCD: optimal doses

We discuss the issue of higher-than-needed doses of antipsychotic medication for augmentation in OCD. This can cause side effects. We briefly review the evidence to support the use of Risperidone in treating OCD and look at typical doses. We go on to make some recommendations for optimum doses of Risperidone. Background In the last year, …

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The effects of COVID-19 pandemic on OCD symptoms

Introduction It is highly likely that the COVID-19 pandemic will have significant adverse effects on the majority of mental disorders, including OCD. This is in addition to widely-reported negative effects on whole population wellbeing. In a recent Danish study looking at effects in young people, Nissen et al [1] used a questionnaire to assess the …

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Evidence review: N-acetylcysteine for OCD

Introduction N-acetylcysteine is thought to regulate glutamate neurotransmission in the brain, and also acts as a potential anti-oxidant. It increases the amount of extracellular glutamate by enhancing the activity of the¬†cystine/ glutamate transporter. There are a number of other drugs that are sometimes used to treat OCD that act on glutamate. These include: Memantine; Riluzole, …

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Delivering treatment for OCD during a pandemic

Introduction The pandemic has had a dramatic effect on the whole of the NHS, but it has also affected the availability of services for OCD. Not only that, but the nature of the pandemic will have had effects on many people with OCD; particularly those with contamination obsessions and cleaning compulsions. In this article, I …

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