No. 4 NHPA

What is OCD

OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is a disorder of the brain and behaviour and it causes severe anxiety in those who are affected. OCD involves obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are thoughts, images or impulses that occur over and over again and feel outside of the person's control. Compulsions are the second part of OCD. These are repetitive behaviours or thoughts that a person uses with the intention of neutralizing, counteracting or making their obsessions go away.

Why is OCD a concern?

OCD can have a serious effect on a person's life. Obsessions and compulsions can take up many hours of a person's day and can interfere with family and social relationships, education and employment. If the OCD becomes more sever, 'avoidance' may become an increasing problem. The person may avoid anything that might trigger their obsessive fears, this can make it difficult for people to perform everyday tasks such as eating, drinking, shopping or reading. This can lead to people being housebound or having depression, anxiety and panic disorders. People with OCD can also be embarrassed about their symptoms and will try to hide them.
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Who is more likely to get OCD?

OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood. Although OCD can occur at any age, there are usually two ranges when OCD tends to occur first:

  • Between the ages 8 and 12
  • Between the late teen years and early adulthood.

What are the risk factors for developing OCD?

The risk factors for OCD can include
  • Genetics
  • Postnatal periods
  • Environmental stressors e.f noise, crowding, air quality, colors.)
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How can you prevent OCD from happening?

You cannot actually prevent OCD from starting, but the best way to prevent a relapse of OCD symptoms is by staying with your therapy and taking any medicines that have prescribed.

Symptoms of OCD?

Some symptoms of OCD can include:

  • Repeated unwanted ideas
  • Fear of contamination
  • Aggressive impulses
  • Persistent sexual thoughts
  • Images of hurting someone you love
  • Thoughts that you might cause others harm
  • Thoughts that you might be harmed
  • Constant checking
  • Constant counting
  • The repeated cleaning of one or more items
  • Repeatedly washing your hands
  • Constantly checking the stove or door locks
  • Arranging items to face a certain way
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How can you get help for OCD?

Unfortunately, finding help isn't as easy as going to any mental health professional and get therapy, because OCD is a very complex problem, and not all doctors (psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists etc.) are well-trained to understand and treat it. But what you can do is use the techniques of exposure and response prevention (ERP), which are part of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Medication can also be a short term help, that can produce side effects. Though, the best thing is to find a qualified OCD therapist.