No Cure!

4 min readAug 10

Officially, there’s no cure for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Then again, according to Western Science there is no cure for any mental disorder, only treatment. I am not cynical enough to believe that doctors are only saying there is no cure to prevent pharmaceutical companies and therapists of all stripes from losing an astonishing amount of money.

Instead, I believe that there is no “cure” for conditions like OCD because none of the mainstream treatments — notably cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI) — are intended to be cures. That’s not to say that they can’t be helpful in reducing symptoms and improving one’s life; they can. But, they are not expected to rid sufferers of all of their symptoms. No one expects a cure.

And expectation is everything. In 1951, Dr. Albert Mason, a British anesthesiologist, used hypnosis to cure a teenager of a severe skin condition called congenital ichthyosiform erythrodermia. Dr. Mason only found out that the boy’s severe skin condition was officially “incurable” after the patient had recovered. He tried to replicate the cure with people suffering from a variety of conditions, but by then doubt had been sown, and the technique failed to yield lasting effects.

Dr. Mason came to understand that the key to curing people through hypnosis was that both the patient and the practitioner had to believe in its efficacy. If you believe there’s no cure then there is no cure …

My therapist had given me a book to read on treating OCD with CBT. It wasn’t much help, since my OCD symptoms made it extremely hard for me to turn the pages of the book. I had also been down that road before; I had used CBT. It had reduced symptoms, but I didn’t expect a cure because everyone knew it wasn’t “curable.”

At the time, I was reeling from life-shattering events which left me nearly incapacitated with fear and anxiety. At the prompting of my partner, I began taking care of my physical and spiritual self through yoga, prayer, meditation, aerobic exercise, qigong and reading about manifesting a better life. I was open to everything, and was learning that there was more to existence than meets the eye. I came across inspiring stories of faith-based “miracle cures.” The belief systems of people who are miraculously cured are different throughout…


Essays, stories & poetry about OCD, culture and society, by Eric. OCD-Free the book: