While patients of OCD in India and other parts of the world keep looking for the “cure” of the disorder, they come across many schools of thoughts and treatments. For some, the allopathic or the western approach helps in reducing the symptoms or providing relief, other treatments also claim to impact the same way with less or no side effects. This raises a question: Are non-conventional medicines and treatments equivalent or even better than the conventional methods of treatment? To find out the answer, on behalf of OCD FREE INDIA, I Gourav Kundu, exchanged a few words with various people from all around the world. Also, in this series, I will bring to you more such unbiased content in the future, interviewing the advocates of Eastern approach as well towards the treatment of OCD so that it becomes easy for the readers in making any decision.
Today we have Mr Bill Powers from the United States to share his opinion on medicines and other treatments that helped him in the recovery from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Mr Powers who is 52 years old, has been to India multiple times and has studied the Hindi language at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and Landour Language School, Uttarakhand. He has not only a profound knowledge of OCD but is also a dedicated, compassionate and a very noble person in real life. He is one of the admins of the group, OCD Free India (Facebook group) as well and has been helping the members for a very long time. I thank him for his precious time to share his opinion with us.
Mr Powers says:
“All of us can point to a period in our lives during which our worldview was definitively formed. In my case, it was during my time at university. My lifelong goal had been to study biology, and I achieved that goal, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in aquatic biology thirty years ago. Majoring in a scientific field led me to take a very rational, objective, and analytical view towards the world. I, therefore, demand rational proof before I adopt an idea, and if available, hard scientific proof. This has carried over into the way I have chosen to have my OCD treated.I was diagnosed with OCD the year after I graduated from university. I was very fortunate to be living in a city with a large, world-class research university that housed a teaching hospital. I found an opportunity to enrol in a research study to determine whether sertraline was an effective treatment for OCD. (This was in the fall of 1989.) My OCD treatment commenced at that time. In the nearly thirty years since then, I have had real success using drug therapy for my OCD. Since my treatment was done by doctors who had trained at the aforementioned university, the research performed there heavily influenced the treatment I received. Consequently, I received some of the latest, best, science-based research available in the US and, indeed, in the world.This was fortunate because it was determined fairly early on in my treatment that my OCD was of the treatment-resistant type. I had been on extended courses of fluoxetine, clomipramine, paroxetine, buspirone, alprazolam, clonazepam, and fluvoxamine. I had only mild benefit from these medications. However, research being done in the early to mid-nineties showed that for patients who didn’t respond to standard, first-line treatments, the use of atypical antipsychotic medications in conjunction with SSRI, TCA, and other antidepressants yielded a greater reduction of symptoms. It was determined fairly quickly that quetiapine fumarate in particular, along with an SSRI, was helpful in reducing my symptoms.
Since the late ’90s, I have also tried venlafaxine, aripiprazole, risperidone, buproprion, and escitalopram. My doctors and I have determined the following treatment regimen to be the most effective: Three years of sertraline, then a switch to three years of escitalopram, while all the while maintaining a fairly high dose of quetiapine, is the best approach. My doctors have tried other, more unorthodox approaches, but these have not been successful.I would advise anyone who is newly diagnosed, and who is considering what kind of treatment to undertake, to give strong consideration to Western or allopathic medications. These medications are in widespread use because rigorous, peer-reviewed research using double-blind studies have proven these medications to be effective. Can other medications stand up to peer-reviewed research? Ask yourself this question if you are considering an ‘alternative’ medicine.”