Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
In Western Countries, OCD is the fourth most common mental health condition. It can affect men, women and children. In the UK, about 12 out of every 1,000 people are affected by OCD.
OCD is characterised by 4 key elements;
- Obsession – Your mind is full of a particular thought that you cannot control, nor can you get rid of such as, I am going to get burgled, I haven’t locked the car, my mother is going to die.
- Anxiety – The obsessional thought creates an anxious feeling.
- Compulsion – you adopt a pattern of compulsive behaviour to reduce your anxiety and distress, such as checking all your windows and doors are locked at least three times before leaving the house, or calling your mother 20 times a day to ensure she is okay.
- Temporary relief – the compulsive behaviour brings temporary relief from anxiety but the obsession and anxiety soon return, causing the cycle to begin again.
OCD becomes a significant problem when it interferes in your every day life and stops you doing the things you want to do. It can vary in severity from spending an hour a day with obsessional thoughts to every moment of the day.
If you are worried about yourself or a loved one battling with OCD, please click here to speak with a consultant.
Alternatively, for more information about OCD, a comprehensive list of symptoms be found here: http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx