Treatment of sexual trauma dissolves contamination fear: case report

In patients with co-morbid obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), repetitive behavior patterns, rituals, and compulsions may ward off anxiety and often function as a coping strategy to control reminders of traumatic events. Therefore, addressing the traumatic event may be crucial for successful treatment of these symptoms.
In this case report, we describe a patient with comorbid OCD and PTSD who underwent pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.
Case Report. A 49-year-old Dutch man was treated for severe PTSD and moderately severe OCD resulting from anal rape in his youth by an unknown adult man.
The patient was treated with paroxetine (60 mg), followed by nine psychotherapy sessions in which eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and exposure and response prevention (ERP) techniques were applied. During psychotherapy, remission of the PTSD symptoms preceded remission of the OCD symptoms.
This study supports the idea of a functional connection between PTSD and OCD. Successfully processing the trauma results in diminished anxiety associated with trauma reminders and subsequently decreases the need for obsessive–compulsive symptoms.

Mirjam J. Nijdam, Marthe M. van der Pol, Ron E. Dekens, Miranda Olff, Damiaan Denys | 2013
In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology, ISSN 2000-8066 | 4 | 1-4