Home > Mental Health > Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 4 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Ocd Mental

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health problem which affects a little more than 1% of the UK population. Those affected by OCD find themselves thinking the same thoughts over and over as well as doing the same things over and over. The thoughts are obsessions while the actions are compulsions. Knowing the signs of OCD, how it is diagnosed and treated, and where to find help are all important for understanding this disorder.

Signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The main signs of OCD have to do with what you think and do, but they also relate to why you are doing these things. For the most part OCD sufferers report feeling as though they must think or do certain things, even if they don’t want to and they know the need to think or do things isn’t based on fact or reality. Such obsessions and compulsions often include:
  • Wondering if or believing that something bad will happen to you or a loved one.
  • Believing you will say something you don’t mean, or that will shock others.
  • Fear of doing something sexually inappropriate, including assaulting someone.
  • Constantly analysing or doubting personal relationships.
  • Truly believing in superstitions or good luck charms.
  • Violent thoughts about harming yourself or others.
  • Needing to check things (locks, lights, appliances, etc) constantly.
  • Needing to touch things (objects, particularly superstitious or religious) constantly.
  • Endlessly counting things.
  • Needing to organise/order objects, even in other people’s homes.
  • Fear of germs and desire to clean (wash hands, bathe, wipe down furniture, etc) constantly.
  • Fear of needing something so being unable to let items, even rubbish, go (hoarding).

Diagnosing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

If you fear you or a loved one suffers from OCD the first step is to see your GP. After discussing why you believe you might suffer from OCD your GP may then refer you to a mental health specialist for an assessment. This specialist may be a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or counsellor. In order to diagnose OCD the specialist will determine if your symptoms match those which are recognised indicators of OCD.

Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have produced a set of guidelines for the treatment and management of OCD. Typically there are four avenues of possible treatment. These include:
  • Self help, such as writing a journal, avoiding drugs and alcohol, relieving stress and support groups.
  • Talking treatment, including individual or group counselling sessions.
  • Medicine, often the same as those used to reduce anxiety or relieve depression.
  • Hospitalisation, though usually only if OCD is present with another mental health issue.

Help With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

In addition to the help a GP and mental health specialist can provide to those who suffer from OCD there are a number of groups and organisations also devoted to offering support. These include:
  • OCD-UK
  • Anxiety Care
  • Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma
  • No Panic
  • First Steps to Freedom
  • National Phobics Society
  • Mind
  • OCD Action

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can greatly interfere with an individual’s quality of life. Recognising the signs of this mental health problem, how it is diagnosed and treated, and where you can find further support should help you better understand this complex disorder and what to do if you suspect yourself or a loved one suffers from it.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Ccmm143
    Re: All about Abortion
    My boyfriend and I are both 16 and we had sex and the condom broke and he came, I am on the pill but I am 8 days late for my period. I’ve been…
    17 October 2018
  • sad but cute
    Re: How to Deal with Pressure From Parents
    since i was a kid my mother always put presure on me at my grades she always compares me to my half big sister…
    15 October 2018
  • Alisha
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    I have recently been self harming , I told my best friend and she talked to me , she said I should stop , I still have scars from…
    15 October 2018
  • helpmeplease
    Re: All about Abortion
    I had sex 8 days ago I used a condom But I’m scared I’m pregnant because I’m having stomach cramps badly and my boobs hurt, can I be pregnant
    7 October 2018
  • Deano2001
    Re: All about Abortion
    Im 17 and have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for nearly five months I am on the pill but I found out today that I am 3 weeks+…
    6 October 2018
  • Chad
    Re: Questionnaire: Are You Addicted to Social Networking Sites?
    I am a grade 12 student. We are asking permission to use your questionnaire in our study.…
    4 October 2018
  • jens
    Re: All about Abortion
    i think i'm pregnant i had sex exactly a month ago and have missed my period, i'm 14, can i go to the drugstore and buy a pregnancy test, how…
    28 September 2018
  • young slayer123
    Re: Arguing With Parents
    every day i wake up and cut my wrist more then once then i go to school eat and bullied then i go home and eat some cake and sleep and cut…
    28 September 2018
  • NORMIE KILLER123 69
    Re: Arguing With Parents
    My MoM THinKs' i A m a girl bUt Mesa FeLl liKE bøi
    28 September 2018
  • the big daddy
    Re: Arguing With Parents
    i got myself preganagnt what me do now
    28 September 2018