Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


OCD is a chronic and disabling anxiety disorder characterised by obsessions, which are unwanted thoughts, images or urges that recur repeatedly, and compulsions, which are repetitive behaviours or rituals that are difficult or impossible to resist doing, happen as a result of the obsessions and are an attempt to reduce the accompanying anxiety.

These thoughts and behaviours need to be causing significant distress and affecting the quality of your life to be considered a disorder.

It is the more about the obsessive nature of the behaviour than the behaviour itself.

Medication is often prescribed for OCD and psychotherapy can teach you how to manage these intrusive thoughts and resulting behaviours more effectively.

There are different symptoms of OCD and they often have common themes:

Common obsessions (thoughts) are:

  • Fear of contamination due to germs or illness
  • Fear of hurting others
  • Preoccupation with having things in order or following set patterns
  • Worrying you have forgotten to turn off appliances or lock doors
  • Preoccupation with religious or moral issues.
  • Sexual or pornographic thoughts or images
  • Common compulsions (behaviours) are:
  • Cleaning
  • Checking
  • Counting
  • Hair pulling
  • Skin picking
  • Hoarding
  • Praying excessively
  • Constant demands for reassurance.