Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a diagnosis given to someone who experiences obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

Obsessive thoughts can include unwelcome thoughts, images, worries or doubts that can appear repeatedly in a person’s head. These cannot be controlled and are hard to ignore.

Compulsive behaviours are repetitive activities a person may do to reduce the anxiety caused my obsessive thoughts.

What are some of the symptoms?

Obsessive thoughts can include:

  • Worries about contamination
  • Fear that something bad might happen if things aren’t in order
  • Worries about harm coming to yourself of others
  • Disturbing images or thoughts
  • Violent thoughts

Compulsive behaviours can include:

  • Repeatedly checking things
  • Excessive washing or cleaning
  • Repeated counting

What is it like to live with OCD?

Everyone’s experience will be unique to them, but someone experiencing OCD can find that it has a big impact on how they live their life.

There are a lot of misconceptions around OCD, but it isn’t just wanting things to be clean and tidy. These misconceptions can be frustrating and upsetting for someone experiencing OCD.

It can impact day-to-day life and relationships, cause feelings of anxiety or leave someone feeling ashamed or lonely.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Mind website to find out more about OCD, including information on diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and recovery.

You can also find information about depression on the Rethink Mental Illness website. 

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