Life-changing online care for obsessive-compulsive disorder

Our providers understand the challenges of OCD, and have real-world experience helping people just like you.

Start with a free assessment

Our Care

Expert care, tailored to you

Different people experience OCD in different ways. That’s why our providers work 1:1 with you to personalize treatment to your unique needs.

Personalized Psychiatry

When medication is necessary, our psychiatric providers analyze 100+ data points to determine the most tolerable and effective prescription for you.

Learn More

Clinically-Proven Therapy

Our program combines cognitive and behavioral therapy with independent skill practice—all of which have been clinically proven to work for a wide range of symptoms.

Learn More

Mental Health condition

Understanding obsessive-compulsive disorder

People with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both. These symptoms can interfere with all aspects of life— such as work, school, and personal relationships.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviors (compulsions) that they feel the urge to repeat over and over.

OCD affects up to 3% of people worldwide. Childhood onset can start around 10 years of age, more commonly in boys than girls. Most of the remainder of people with OCD have their first symptoms before they turn 25, with women outnumbering men. OCD symptoms don’t usually develop after age 30.

Symptoms of OCD:

Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety and fear.

Common obsessions include:
  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, or violence
  • Aggressive thoughts towards others or self
  • Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought.

Common compulsions include:
  • Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing
  • Ordering and arranging things in a particular and precise way
  • Repeatedly checking on things, such as checking multiple times to see if the door is locked or that the oven is turned off
  • Compulsive counting


Virtual, dedicated support every step of the way

Brightside app screenshot

1:1 Video Sessions

Let your provider know how you’re feeling, get to know you, and provide 1:1 support.

Start Treatment Now

Brightside app screenshot

Anytime Messaging

Get questions or concerns off your chest between video visits by messaging your provider at any time.

Start Treatment Now

Brightside app screenshot

Interactive Lessons

Learn how to integrate new thought and behavior patterns into your daily life.

Start Treatment Now

Brightside app screenshot

Proactive Progress Tracking

Complete weekly check-ins so your provider can track your progress and, if necessary, adjust your treatment and/or medication.

Start Treatment Now

Our plan options

Affordable help, with or without insurance

Because quality mental health care shouldn’t be out of reach for anyone.



Pay with insurance
or $95/month

Get Started

Or learn more



Pay with insurance
or $299/month

Get Started

Or learn more


+ Therapy

Pay with insurance
or $349/month

Get Started

Or learn more

Free Assessment

Get started in
just 3 minutes

86% of our members feel better within 12 weeks.

begin assessment

We accept insurance.iInsurance coverage varies by state. Get started to check your eligibility.

Aetna logo Cigna logo United Healthcare logo Anthem logo BCBS logo


What’s on your mind?

If your question isn’t answered below, view our full list of FAQs here.

Brightside is available to people 18 years and older in the states where Brightside operates who believe they may be experiencing depression and may benefit from treatment.

Remote care is not a good fit for people with certain conditions or situations. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Previous suicide attempt or active suicide planning
  • Ongoing, high risk self-harm behavior
  • Recent involuntary hospitalization for psychiatric reasons
  • Schizophrenia or any symptoms of psychosis
  • Certain severities of Bipolar Disorder and symptoms of mania
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Eating disorder with high-risk symptoms
  • Kidney or liver disease, seizures, or long QT (for Psychiatry plan only)

Our providers do not treat, and do not prescribe for adhd.

If any of these describe you, it’s best for you to be seen by a provider in person so you can get the care that’s right for you.

Brightside makes it easy to get top quality depression care from the privacy of home.

Here’s how Psychiatry works:

  1. Take the assessment: Answer questions about yourself to provide the information your provider will need to thoroughly evaluate your situation.
  2. Connect with a psychiatric provider: Get matched with an expert psychiatric provider for a comprehensive video consultation. Share how you’re feeling, then decide on the best next steps — together. These conversations normally last about 15 minutes to review your situation, discuss your care plan, and answer any questions you may have. 
  3. Follow your care plan: If the provider chooses to prescribe, your medication will be sent to your local pharmacy. Your plan also includes digital therapy, and self-care tools you can use at your own pace.
  4. Make progress: We’ll ask you to tell us about your symptoms and side effects weekly, allowing the provider to monitor your progress and make any necessary changes to your care plan, so you can get the best results.

Here’s how Therapy works:

  1. Take the assessment: Tell us what you’re experiencing, and we’ll help you understand what it means.
  2. Connect with a Therapist: Connect with an expert, licensed therapist by messaging and with access to one 45-minute video appointment included with your subscription each week. You will continue to have Unlimited messaging support and guidance to help you build skills and feel better.
  3. Complete sessions: Complete personalized, self-paced audio lessons and practice exercises, building the evidence-based skills and habits you need to overcome your depression and anxiety.
  4. Make Progress: Report back on what’s working well for you and where you want to go deeper with the option to purchase additional video sessions if you choose. Your therapist will help guide you through your personalized program so you see the best results.

When scheduling your first appointment, you can browse all of our available providers in your state. Take a look at their profiles and check open times to find the best fit for you. Every Brightside provider undergoes a rigorous hiring and vetting process to ensure the highest quality care.

Brightside currently accepts select insurance plans in various states for payment of your provider’s or therapist’s services. Please see below for a current listing of plans. Brightside may not be included in all plans that each health insurance company offers. Please contact your health insurance plan to verify that your care at Brightside will be covered.

We currently accept the following insurance plans:

  • Cigna (all states, except MN)
  • Aetna (nationwide)
  • Allegience (nationwide)
  • Anthem (CA only)
  • United Health (select states)

If you are a new member signing up for services you can enter your insurance information during the sign-up process. We’ll let you know your eligibility, as well as you estimated co-pays and out-of-pocket costs (if any) before signing-up or scheduling.

We also accept HSA/FSA payment if you have one of those accounts. If you have questions about using your medical or prescription insurance benefits, please contact us by emailing [email protected].

A mental health provider will diagnose OCD by asking you about the following three things:

  • Obsessive thoughts & compulsive behaviors
  • Mental or psychological distress
  • Consequences in important relationships, both at work and in your personal life

The causes of OCD are unknown, but risk factors include:
Twin and family studies have shown that people who have a parent, sibling, or child with OCD are at a higher risk for developing OCD themselves. The risk is higher if the first-degree relative developed OCD as a child or teen. 

Brain structure
Brain imaging studies have shown differences in the frontal cortex and subcortical structures in patients with OCD. There appears to be a connection between the OCD symptoms and abnormalities in certain areas of the brain, but more research is needed to determine the specific connection. 

An association between childhood trauma and OCD symptoms has been reported in some studies. However, more research is needed to understand this relationship better.

If you are experiencing obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors that are affecting your life, it may be time to seek professional help. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and figure out a plan together.

OCD can be treated using a combination of medication and a few different therapy approaches.

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are used to help reduce OCD symptoms.

SRIs often require higher daily doses in the treatment of OCD than of depression and may take 8–12 weeks to start working. However, some patients do experience more rapid improvement.

Certain types of therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other related therapies (e.g. habit reversal training), can be as effective as medication for many people living with OCD.

Research also shows that a type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) may also be helpful. EX/RP consists of spending time in the very situation that triggers the compulsions, such as touching a dirty object. Then, you won’t be allowed to complete the usual compulsion, such as handwashing. This type of CBT is effective in reducing compulsive behaviors in OCD, even in people who did not respond well to SRIs.

Self-Care, Coping, and Support
Many treatment plans for OCD involve aspects of self-care. This can include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising on a regular basis
  • Managing stress & practicing mindfulness
  • Engaging in enjoyable/creative activities
  • Taking prescribed medications correctly and discussing any potential side effects with your healthcare providers
  • Watching for early signs that your symptoms may be worsening, and having a plan in place for how to respond if they do
  • Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive influences
  • Talking to trusted family members and friends about how you are feeling

If you’re in emotional distress, text HOME to connect with a counselor immediately.


Call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for 24/7 emotional support.


If you’re having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local ER.