How-to: recognise OCD
An anxiety-related disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD is a disorder that causes people to experience persistent unwanted thoughts and obsessive behaviours that are also known as compulsions. A person with OCD usually feels powerless to stop these compulsive behaviours.
Following is a list of OCD symptoms to help you identify whether you or someone close to you may be suffering from this debilitating disorder:
-fear of forgetting to do things such as locking doors and turning lights off
-fear of not being able to carry out actions in a precisely ordered way
-intrusive, unwanted thoughts about sex, violence or accidents
-fear of being contaminated, such as by unclean cutlery, doorhandles or food
-persistent fear of illness or death
-a constant need to clean and organise things in a set specific way
-constant checking, such as re-checking appliances are turned off and doors are locked
-obsession with personal hygiene, hand-washing, teeth-brushing or showering
Why the compulsive behaviour?
People who suffer from OCD generally carry out these compulsive behaviours because it brings an instant sense of relief, or freedom from anxiety. Unfortunately, this is usually quickly followed by a new anxiety that must be corrected by carrying out another compulsive action.
Treatment for OCD
There are many people that live long and happy lives without ever being treated for their OCD, but if your obsessive or compulsive behaviours are starting to impact on your life and affect your ability to perform and enjoy normal daily activities, then it’s essential to seek help. The best place to start is with your local GP. Your GP can give you a thorough assessment and refer you to a mental health specialist who will be able to work with you individually to treat the cause of your anxiety and help to keep your symptoms under control.