The Cost of OCD Therapy

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on March 17, 2023
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OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by intrusive thoughts and recurring behaviors.

While the cost of OCD therapy can be high, it pales in comparison to the emotional and financial costs associated with untreated OCD.

In this blog post, we will break down the costs of both OCD therapy and untreated OCD to give readers an understanding of what they are getting into when seeking help for their mental illness condition. 

The authors of this post are well-familiar with how frustrating, and hopeless, these mental health conditions can make a person feel. We’re here to 1) reaffirm that you or your loved one are not broken and 2) help shine a light on some helpful resources.

Leave a comment below with any unanswered questions we can help answer.

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The Costs of OCD Therapy 

The cost of OCD therapy can vary greatly depending on the type of treatment you receive, where you receive it, and who is providing it.

Generally speaking, however, the average cost for 10 sessions with a licensed therapist ranges from $500-$1000 for talk therapy (see discussion below for a more detailed cost breakdown).

Please note: This cost is likely higher if you choose to work with a more specialized therapist such as an OCD doctor trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP).

It’s important to note that some insurance plans may cover part or all of these costs, so check with your provider before making any decisions.

You may also use self-help books, but treating OCD through self-help books alone is not likely.

The Cost of OCD Treatment, Science Report

There is an excellent report on the costs of OCD, “Insights Into the Cost of Care for OCD – A National Research Study Commissioned by NOCD and Conducted by Santa Barbara Actuaries“.

  • “The data show most members identified as having OCD are experiencing a revolving door of inappropriate care that can raise the average annual cost per member for high-acuity patients to as much as $125,000, compared to a low of $2,600 for low-acuity patients”
  • “The total cost of care for the identified 4% of OCD members is approximately $12,276 per member … The total cost of care for the remaining OCD population (the hidden 96%) is roughly $8,600 per member.

Therefore the cost of OCD is somewhere between $2,600 and $125,000, depending on symptoms. If symptoms are severe and OCD is clearly identified, a cost estimate is $12,276. If symptoms are less severe, a cost estimate is $8,600.

The Costs of Untreated OCD 

While paying out-of-pocket for therapy may seem expensive, the costs associated with untreated harm OCD can be much higher—both financially and emotionally.

  • Studies have shown that people living with untreated OCD generally experience more days off work due to illness than those who seek treatment for their condition.
  • This means that not only are they losing out on wages but also having to pay more for medical bills related to their condition, as well as any medications they might need to take.
  • Additionally, people without access to proper treatment often suffer from depression and anxiety which can lead to further financial strain due to lost time at work or missed opportunities because they are too overwhelmed by their symptoms.  
  • On top of these financial burdens, there is also an emotional toll taken on those living with untreated OCD. People living with this condition often feel isolated and alone as they struggle through life unable to find relief from their symptoms or connect meaningfully with others around them.
  • Additionally, they may experience low self-esteem due to negative thoughts about themselves or their situation caused by their disorder.

All this taken together can make life very difficult for someone suffering from untreated OCD. 

Cost Breakdown of obsessions and compulsions

Direct costs include medical expenses for diagnosis and treatment, while indirect costs include lost wages due to underemployment or absenteeism.

  • According to one study1, the total costs of OCD were estimated to be $8.4 billion in 1990 in the United States.
  • Another 2021 study2 found that those with OCD spent an average of $25,666 on overall healthcare in the two years after their diagnosis for self-care strategies, hospital bills, and medication.

If you are living with OCD, it is important to understand the financial implications of this condition so you can make informed decisions about your healthcare needs and in regard to taking medication.

It is also important to seek professional help if you believe you may be suffering from OCD symptoms as early intervention can lead to improved outcomes and lower long-term costs.

Getting OCD Help Through Insurance

Getting help for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) through insurance can be relatively straightforward. For example, many online therapy and medication providers, such as Talkspace, offer services specifically for OCD.

  • Plus, you may be able to get your insurance provider to reimburse you for evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) OCD treatment, even if the therapist is out of network. In some cases, residential benefits may also be available under your insurance plan.
  • It is important to remember that you are legally entitled to the in-network rate coverage from your insurance for a specialist in OCD.
  • Additionally, with virtual therapy becoming more accessible, it has never been easier to access treatment options for OCD. However, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy is not yet covered by most insurance providers.

If you have any questions about getting help for OCD through insurance, it is best to contact your insurance company directly or consult with a mental health professional who specializes in OCD treatment.

The Cost of OCD Medication

The cost of OCD medication can vary depending on the type and dosage prescribed. Generally, the most commonly prescribed OCD medications, such as SSRIs, will cost around $200-$300 per month.

Antipsychotics may be more expensive due to their higher dosages.

Insurance companies may cover a portion of the costs of your medication, or require you to pay a copayment to receive the medications.

It is important to speak with your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional about the cost of medications as it may be possible to access cheaper generic versions or programs that provide medication at reduced prices.

You should also discuss any potential side effects associated with specific medications and how they might affect you before making a decision.

Saving Money on OCD Treatment

Here are some tips for saving money on OCD treatment:

  • Look into insurance coverage – Many insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of therapy or medications used to treat OCD. Check with your provider to see what is covered under your plan.
  • Consider online therapy – Online therapy can be more affordable than traditional in-person sessions and may be covered by insurance as well.
  • Research support groups – Support groups offer an opportunity to connect with others who have similar experiences and can provide valuable advice on managing OCD symptoms without professional help.
  • Utilize free resources – There are many free resources available online that provide information about OCD and its treatment options, such as the International OCD Foundation website or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America website.

By taking advantage of these tips, you can save money while still getting the help you need for managing your OCD symptoms.

Is Therapy Worth It For OCD?

Therapy is an effective treatment for OCD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and/or medication are the most effective treatments, and they can help bring symptoms under control so that they don’t rule your life.

It may not result in a cure, but it can be very helpful in managing the disorder.

A short course of therapy is usually recommended for relatively mild OCD, while more severe cases may need a longer course of therapy and/or medicine.

How Many Therapy Sessions Do You Need For OCD?

The number of therapy sessions needed for OCD depends on the severity of the disorder.

Generally, those with mild OCD can expect to complete 10 hours of therapist treatment, with exercises done at home between sessions.

According to the University of Florida4, for more severe OCD cases, 12-20 sessions may be necessary to see a clinically significant reduction in symptoms.

Can OCD Be Cured With Therapy?

OCD can be managed with therapy, but it cannot be cured. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and/or medication are the most effective treatments for OCD.

Through therapy, you can learn how to manage your obsessions and compulsions so that they don’t interfere with your daily life. However, there is no cure for OCD at this time.

How Long Does OCD Therapy Take?

OCD therapy can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more, depending on the severity of symptoms and the complexity of the case.

Generally speaking, most people receiving treatment for OCD will require around two months of virtual ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) therapy.

Please remember medication combined with ERP is considered the first-line approach for treating OCD.

Is It Worth Getting An OCD Diagnosis?

It is worth getting an OCD diagnosis if you are experiencing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by unwanted thoughts and fears that lead to repetitive behaviors.

Symptoms of OCD can include:

  • irrational worries
  • intrusive thoughts
  • compulsive rituals
  • difficulty controlling the urge to perform certain behaviors

If you think you may have OCD, it is important to seek professional help from a mental health provider who can diagnose and treat the condition.

With proper treatment, people with OCD can learn to manage their symptoms and lead healthier lives.

Is It Expensive To Treat OCD?

It is expensive to treat OCD, as the average cost of treatment is around $10,000. However, sliding scale therapy and group therapy can make it more affordable.

Online therapy like Brightside, which gives evidence-based therapies and medications, is another option.

Why Are OCD Treatment And Therapy So Expensive?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that can be difficult to treat.

  • OCD treatment and therapy can be expensive because it often requires specialized care from a trained professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) are the most effective treatments for OCD, but they require time and effort from both the patient and the therapist.
  • Additionally, medications used to treat OCD may also be costly.

Ultimately, the cost of OCD treatment depends on the type of therapy needed, as well as any medications prescribed.

How Do You Get An Official Diagnosis Of OCD?

An official diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is made by a healthcare provider based on an assessment of the person’s behaviors, and medical and mental health history.

A psychological evaluation is usually conducted to help diagnose OCD. This includes discussing symptoms and any related experiences.

In some cases, a physical exam or lab tests may be recommended to rule out other medical conditions.

How Can I Get Tested For OCD?

If you think you may have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the best way to get tested is by speaking with a qualified mental health professional.

They can assess your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis. You can also take online tests or quizzes to help determine if you may have OCD, however, these should not be used as a substitute for a full assessment by a qualified clinician.

It’s important to speak with a qualified clinician for an accurate diagnosis, these 3 OCD tests can give you a quick, unofficial answer:

  1. https://www.psycom.net/do-i-have-ocd-test
  2. https://patient.info/news-and-features/quiz-do-i-have-ocd
  3. https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/ocd-quiz

How Long Does It Take To Be Tested For OCD?

It typically takes around 10-15 minutes to complete an OCD test.

Depending on the type of test, it may involve answering questions about your symptoms, discussing your thoughts and behaviors with a mental health professional, or taking a blood test.

Can OCD Be Treated With Just Therapy?

Can OCD be treated with just therapy? The answer is yes, but it is most effective when combined with medication. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) are the two main types of psychotherapy used to treat OCD, and they can help manage symptoms so that they don’t interfere with daily life.

Can OCD Be Treated Permanently?

No, OCD cannot be cured permanently. However, it can be managed with proper treatment and therapy. With the right approach, people with OCD can learn to manage their symptoms and lead a more productive life.

How Much Does OCD Therapy cost Conclusion: 

The economic burden associated with treating versus not treating mental health disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has been well documented over the years; however, there are many other costs associated with leaving this type of disorder unmanaged including both physical and emotional expenses as well as lost opportunities due to missed days at work or school/college due to illness/overwhelming symptoms brought on by the disorder itself.

Ultimately it’s up to each person affected by this disorder whether or not they want to invest in themselves and undergo treatment but at least now readers have a better understanding of what is at stake when it comes time for them to make an informed decision about whether or not they should pursue therapy for their condition.  

For those who do decide that investing in themselves is worth it – both economically and emotionally – there are plenty of resources available online including information on how much ocd therapy costs which can help them make an educated decision based on their circumstances..”

If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, it might be time to explore no-medication therapy as an option. OCD costs can be high, which is why other alternatives such as EMDR or TMS exist.

Our team wants to hear your opinions too! Tell us know which mental health software product that Online Mental Health Reviews should analyze and evaluate next. Please share your discount codes, horror stories and your experiences so we may all benefit!

Best Value-Per-Dollar
BetterHelp | Online Therapy for Stressed Professionals
$60-$90 / Week

Overall, BetterHelp conveniently provides busy professionals with various live therapy options to make it the best online therapy in terms of value per dollar.

Try 10% Off Our Review

Sources

  1. Economic costs of obsessive-compulsive disorder – PubMed. (1995, April 1). PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10141765/
  2. Lenhard, F., Aspvall, K., Andersson, E., Ahlen, J., Serlachius, E., Lavner, M., Brodin, A., & Mataix-Cols, D. (2021, September 28). The Cost of Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder in Swedish Youth. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 54(1), 248–254. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-021-01261-z
  3. Insights Into the Cost of Care for OCD A National Research Study Commissioned by NOCD and Conducted by Santa Barbara Actuaries. (21 C.E., June). In https://www.treatmyocd.com/. Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech . Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://www.treatmyocd.com/documents/nocd-cost-of-care.pdf
  4. Psychotherapy for OCD » Department of Psychiatry » College of Medicine » University of Florida. (n.d.). Psychotherapy for OCD &Raquo; Department of Psychiatry &Raquo; College of Medicine &Raquo; University of Florida. https://psychiatry.ufl.edu/patient-care-services/ocd-program/psychotherapy-for-ocd/

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