What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Information about OCD, how you find out if you suffer from it and what treatment and support there is available.

What is OCD?: 

OCD is a form of anxiety where you experience repetitive upsetting thoughts or behaviours. It involves obsessions and compulsions. 

Obsessions are unwanted thoughts or fears that can be difficult to control.

Compulsions are actions that people carry out in order to help reduce anxiety caused by their obsession. For example, you may think something bad might happen to you when you leave the house so you have a compulsion to perform a ritual such as getting dressed in a certain order or locking the door so many times.

OCD can affect people with different levels of severity. But no matter how much it affects their lives it can be very distressing. 

How do I know if I have OCD?: 

It's not always easy to tell if someone has OCD. Some people are able to function normally even though they experience upsetting thoughts.

There are online tests that can help you find out whether you show any of the classic symptoms. Though remember, online tests aren't 100% definitive and can be unreliable. 

If you're worried and think you may have OCD, the best thing to do is to speak to your doctor. 

What treatment and support is available?: 

The main treatment for OCD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This involves confronting situations that the sufferer fears to help them over come the compulsion.

For more information go to the OCD Action website.