Obssesive Compulsive Disorder - OCD
The Signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – OCD
Checking the door is locked twenty times before going to bed at night, cleaning the house for 7 hours every day, or having everything in an exact place and feeling overwhelmed with panic if items have been moved. These are all signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD.
A young child ordering things in set numbers or someone touching something 5 then 7 then 9 times to keep themselves or others safe. Tugging at a car door handle to make sure it’s locked. Repeating an action a set number of times. These are all descriptions of obsessive compulsive behaviour.
What is OCD?
Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, and images that are experienced as intrusive. They cause marked anxiety and distress (E.g. believing that touching money will contaminate and poison you). Even though you may well know at one level that these things are unlikely to happen they are still powerfully and sometimes distressing thoughts.
What then tends to happen is an attempt to ignore, suppress or neutralise these thoughts with other thoughts or actions.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviours (hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (praying, counting, repeating words) that you feel driven to perform in response to an obsession. These behaviours or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress, or looking to prevent some dreaded event or situation.
For example, someone who has an obsession based on a fear that they would start a fire by being negligent; experiences a compulsion to check things over and over again, which is ongoing and exhausting.
In OCD there is a special alertness and conscientiousness to compensate for the constant feeling of uncertainty. You are striving for a “hundred percent” even though at one level you know this is impossible.
In our experience OCD doesn’t just go away of its own accord. In fact, it often intensifies to compensate for additional feelings of anxiety and stress that OCD itself brings. Adding to this is fact that the behaviours never quite eradicate the anxious feelings and thoughts.
Counselling and therapy helps you learn how to challenge and manage your thoughts and control the compulsions. By understanding how your OCD underpins the anxieties in your life and controls you, you can begin to challenge yourself, and subsequently find new ways of living without such a defining and often all-consuming way of life.
There are ways for you to take control and have freedom.
To arrange your first session simply send us a message here.