Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterised by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualised behaviours you feel compelled to perform. If you have OCD, you probably recognise that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours are irrational – but even so, you feel unable to resist them and break free.
Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) causes the brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge. For example, you may check the stove twenty times to make sure it’s really turned off, wash your hands until they’re scrubbed raw, or drive around for hours to make sure that the bump you heard while driving wasn’t a person you ran over.
If you have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), your recommended treatment plan will depend on how much your OCD is affecting your ability to function.
Cognitive behavioural therapy involving graded exposure and response prevention has repeatedly proved to be an effective treatment for OCD.
You may be prescribed medication if CBT fails to treat mild OCD or if you have moderate or severe OCD.
Many people with OCD find support groups helpful. Support groups can:
- reassure you
- reduce any feelings of isolation
- give you a chance to socialise with others