A very well-known condition, but often misunderstood.

There are three main aspects to OCD:

  • Obsessive thought
  • Anxious feeling
  • The things you do to reduce your anxiety

Obsessive thoughts can be unpleasant, worrying or shocking words or ideas that won’t go away. You may see horrific pictures in your mind or have doubts that you have done something wrong, argue with yourself or be unusually bothered when things are not exactly as you like them.

In OCD, such thoughts can make you feel tense, anxious, fearful, guilty, disgusted or depressed. These sensations urge you to carry out a compulsive behaviour pattern, such as an utterance, a ritual, checking, habitual avoidance, hoarding, or seeking reassurance. These behaviors make you feel better (but not for long) despite the fact that they are usually an unpleasant demand or burden—as opposed to other kinds of compulsive habits such as drinking or gambling.

About 1 in 50 people suffer from OCD, at different intensities. Some people experience a very light form of the disorder, while other sufferers find it impossible to function in society. Sometimes the problem goes away by itself, while other people require medical treatment to overcome the condition.

Some people who try very hard to treat themselves can actually reinforce the problem by intensifying focus on the obsessive thoughts. It’s certainly not a good idea to use alcohol or drugs to try to relieve the symptoms. However, saying your thoughts aloud or writing them down can expose them for what they are and reduce levels of anxiety.

If you’d like to consult with our resident psychiatrist about your own condition, be sure to make an appointment with us today.


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