Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety related illness which involves distressing and repetitive thoughts and behaviours.
The illness can be broken down into three parts. The thoughts that make people anxious (obsessions), the anxiety people feel and the things that people do to reduce their anxiety (compulsions). A common example involves people cleaning compulsively to reduce the anxiety caused by obsessive fears of germs and disease.
Most people have certain ways of doing things, or have worries about things. However people experiencing OCD can find their obsessions and compulsions to be debilitating, they can take over their life and are always felt as unpleasant demands or burdens.
Common Experiences of OCD
- Fear of contamination.
- Fear of causing harm to someone else.
- Fear of behaving unacceptably.
- Need for symmetry or exactness.
“I find the stigma I experience in relation to living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) comes in the form of a damaging misconception of what the illness actually is.
“Statements like 'I am so OCD about that' have in fact become part of everyday discourse and have framed OCD as a quirky frivolous personality trait often used in the context of humour.
“The truth is OCD is a very serious illness and can be so debilitating and disabling that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has ranked OCD in the top ten of the most disabling illnesses of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life.
“Making light of OCD as an illness is very harmful and often deters people from seeking the help they need. People need to know they are not alone; that this is a very common illness and more importantly with the right help and support people can and do recover.”
– Christine Muir