Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder in which a person feels compelled to perform certain actions repeatedly to alleviate persistent fears or intrusive thoughts (116).
So, if you get awful thoughts coming into your mind, even when you try to keep them out or you have to touch or count things or repeat the same action like washing over and over you could have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
OCD has three main parts:
* the thoughts that make you anxious (obsessions),
* the anxiety you feel, and
* the things you do to reduce your anxiety (compulsions).
Most people have unwanted, troubling thoughts occasionally (such as worrying that the oven has been left on). If you have OCD, these thoughts are more common and can seem more important. Repeated obsessions and/or compulsions make you feel anxious. Obsessions can be defined as thoughts, pictures or impulses which are usually unpleasant and come into mind when we don’t want them. Compulsions describe the behaviours used in order to “put right” or act on the obsession.
It is most common to have both obsessions and compulsions, but you can have them on their own. You could also have more than one obsession and/or compulsion (115).
Severe OCD can make it impossible to work regularly, to take part in family life – or even to get on with your family. In particular, they may become upset if you try to involve them in your rituals (116).
When does OCD begin?
Many children have mild compulsions. They organise their toys very precisely, or avoid stepping on cracks in the pavement. This usually goes away as they grow older.
Adult OCD usually begins in the teens or early twenties. Symptoms can come and go with time, but sufferers often don't seek help until they have had OCD for many years.
Many people with mild OCD improve without treatment. This does not usually happen with moderate to severe OCD, although there may be times when the symptoms seem to go away. Some will slowly get worse, for others the symptoms get worse when they are stressed or depressed.
Treatment will usually help (1)
Getting help Looking at patterns of behaviour with a therapist can be helpful (115).
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is recommended. There are two types of CBT used to treat OCD - Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Cognitive Therapy (CT).
Regular contact with a professional usually happens every week or two weeks to start with. Up to ten hours of contact is recommended to start with, but you may need more (116). Counselling and Psychotherapy may be provided via Skype and FaceTime in the comfort of your home, office or any place of your choice.