What is the best treatment for compulsive behavior?

Compulsive behaviors are actions that someone engages in repeatedly and consistently, despite the harm and distress they cause to them.

There are several treatment methods for compulsive behavior, including:

  • Therapy. Helpful therapies for compulsive behavior are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure and response prevention (ERP), mindfulness practices, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). In more severe cases, therapy may be combined with an antidepressant or anxiety medication.

  • Assessment. In cases where compulsive behavior is related to impulse control disorder or obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, having an assessment done can help identify the cause of the problem to determine the best treatment. 

  • Medication. Medication has been proven effective in managing compulsive behavior and related mental health problems. 

  • Support groups. Support groups offer an avenue where people dealing with compulsive behaviors can share their struggles and experiences while learning from people who have received treatment for the same.

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