Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or ‘OCD’ is a common, long-term mental health condition where obsessions lead to compulsive activities. Obsessions are thoughts, worries or doubts which make you feel anxious and can preoccupy the mind. Compulsions are activities and behaviours engaged in to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession.

Those who suffer from OCD do not all share the same obsessive thoughts and compulsions. Obsessive thoughts may be checking a door is locked, asking for reassurance, concern over germ contamination or images in your mind of violent or sexual images which are out of character.

Even though sufferers are often aware that obsessions and compulsions are irrational, OCD has emotional consequences and can disable life. Repeated compulsions can disrupt your day and obsessive thoughts are tiring and can make it hard to concentrate. Relationships can be impacted and the sufferer can feel anxious, ashamed or lonely.

If you have OCD, it is common to have other mental health problems as well, such as anxiety or depression. This can sometimes make OCD difficult to diagnose or treat.

Counselling and psychotherapy can be very successful methods in overcoming OCD. Together with your therapist, underlying causes of your condition can be explored and addressed at your own pace.