As a psychologist going about my everyday life I often hear people say “I think I’ve got a bit of OCD…”. Be rest assured, if you think that then you probably have not got Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Working with clients with a diagnosis of OCD I know that the condition can be very debilitating and distressing and you would know if you were truly suffering from the disorder.
Many people experience worries, doubts and impulses, however if you experience such things on a day to day basis, that are intrusive and repetitive, then you may be experiencing OCD.
What is it – how does it feel?
OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder and can affect your life in many ways by causing you to engage in repetitive, intrusive and uncontrollable thought’s (obsessions) and repetitive behaviours (compulsions) which can lead you feeling compelled to do so. Such obsessions and compulsions can cause behaviours such as performing your own rituals, worrying about catching an illness, avoiding people or places. You may feel driven to perform such acts because you think it will help reduce your anxiety caused by your obsessive thoughts.
How common is it?
In the UK around 1.2% of the population will have OCD which is around 12 people out of 1000 and therefore 741,504 people are living with OCD at any one time.
There are a range of types of OCD that can affect you, these include:
- Checking – obsessive checking to prevent damage
- Hoarding – persistent difficulty discarding with your possessions or need to save possessions
- Contamination – fear that something needs to be cleaned
- Intrusive thoughts – obsessive prolonged thoughts
What causes OCD
OCD can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as:
- Stress or life changing events – if the event is left untreated everyday stress and anxiety can worsen into OCD
- Genetics/biological causes – such as an imbalance in the neurotransmitter serotonin
- Ways of thinking – if you have extreme high levels of responsibility
What can we do
At Heswall Hills Counselling Centre we have a number of therapists who can help provide you help with OCD, for example CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). CBT aims to treat OCD by recognising and changing the way you think and behave. CBT changes the way you think rather than get rid of such thoughts.
If you would like support and help in managing your work related stress get in touch.