Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that can affect men, women, and children. The causes of OCD are not always clear, but it’s characterised by Obsessions (unwanted and intrusive thoughts or images that enter your mind, causing anxiety) and Compulsions (repetitive acts or behaviours in response to those thoughts).

For example, someone with an obsessive fear of contaminating themselves or others might repeatedly wash their hands. They are doing this because it feels right to protect themselves or those closest to them, and not necessarily because their hands are dirty. Similarly, people with an obsessive fear of being burgled might repeatedly check locks, doors, and windows several times before feeling safe to leave the house.

Obsessive compulsive disorder can start in childhood, but it’s causes may not be apparent. It might be triggered by a stressful change or significant life-event, or it could owe to differences in brain activity or low levels of serotonin. There could also be a genetic factor; people with a family history of OCD are more likely to develop the condition.

Seeing a therapist can help you to overcome OCD, and talking therapies can be particularly effective. Please contact me if you would like to know more. You can also find more information at OCD-UK. This charity allows people to better understand the condition. It also offers support and advice to those trying to overcome OCD.