16 Aug 2022

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – much more than hand washing

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

OCD by definition is a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and/or behaviours that they feel the urge to repeat over and over. The term OCD is one that is often used as a diluted term for a person who likes things in a particular way, or has a degree of perfectionism. In reality, obsessive compulsive disorder is a debilitating mental health condition which can have a detrimental impact on one’s life.

Although symptoms can range widely, OCD has two categories that these can be separated into: Obsessions and Compulsions.

Obsessions – These are unwanted and unpleasant thoughts, images or urges that repeatedly enter your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease. For example:

–          Fear of contamination through dirt, germs, chemicals, sticky substances etc.

–          Fear of accidentally harming yourself or others

–          Symmetry or exactness – the need to have things in a particular way

–          Often obsessions are fed through fear. For example, a person with OCD might feel the need to organize something perfectly, or they would fear something terrible would happen to a family member.

Compulsions – these are repetitive activities that reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. For example:

–          Performing actions according to particular intervals or patterns, such as bathing a particular number of times, tapping an object, or ensuring that a person has a certain number of a particular item

–          Compulsive cleanliness such as repeated hand-washing, disinfecting, or cleaning

–          Compulsive skin picking or hair pulling

To relieve the intensity of the obsessive thought, a person with OCD will perform a compulsive action to feel some relief, or to prevent something terrible happening.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, studies have shown the presentation of OCD symptoms, behaviours and diagnosis have spiked dramatically with more and more people seeking GP’s advice.

When should you get help?

If you are experiencing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, you might benefit from consulting with a behavioural health provider. Getting help sooner, rather than later, can help you avoid growing feelings of anxiety and distress while helping you learn tools to manage your symptoms over time.

If you are struggling with symptoms similar to these, The Eaves can help you. Please get in contact with us by submitting a webform under our ‘Contact’ tab, or call us directly on 01483 917000 to speak to one of our referrals team.







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