Psychiatric Annals

Editorial Free

Persistent Progress in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Jan Fawcett, MD

This issue of Psychiatric Annals, ably guest edited by Dr. Phillip J. Seibell, examines obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—its treatment and outcomes. We learn in this issue that this condition is stubborn, with a 1% to 3% US prevalence rate and only, according to most studies, a 25% to 35% reduction of symptoms based on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. These data alone are indicative of how difficult this disorder is to treat.

First, Dr. Seibell and colleagues explore “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Overview and Standard Treatment Strategies” in which they define the symptoms and currently available treatment modalities. Next, Dr. H. Blair Simpson and colleagues describe how exposure/response prevention (EX/RP) has been proven to be an effective way to manage OCD for many, but still 24% of patients don’t respond. Then, Dr. Christopher Pittenger explores new insights into OCD treatment strategies with an article entitled “Glutamate Modulators in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” Last, Dr. Stefano Pallanti and his group identify another area of treatment with a discussion about neuromodulation.

This issue conveys the need for all mental health clinicians to become more proficient with understanding OCD and the various treatment methods. I also wonder if psychiatric clinicians would benefit from more instructional workshops on behavioral methods such as EX/RP for both OCD as well as for comorbid anxiety in patients with major mental illness such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.

Welcome to spring!


Jan Fawcett, MD, is a Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He was chairperson of the DSM-5 Mood Disorders Task Force.

Address correspondence to Jan Fawcett, MD, via email: 


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