Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder and has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions.
The Obsessions and Compulsions of OCD are more severe than an occasional worry about whether we have locked our front door, or, for example, a feeling of irritation and a need to get up and move it, if we notice someone has put an ornament in the wrong place. OCD-type obsessions and compulsions can stop the individual from functioning normally and living their life the way they would like to, causing them great distress.
In order to identify whether you may have symptoms of OCD you could consider the following
· Washing or cleaning a lot
· Checking things a lot
· Having thoughts that keep bothering you - that you’d like to get rid of, but can’t?
· Taking a long time to finish your daily activities
· Concerned about putting things in a special order or are you very upset by mess?
· Do you sometimes avoid doing things or going to places because of your anxiety about certain things e.g. eating or drinking outside the house?
Moving out of OCD
Do these problems trouble you? Do you consider you are doing these things more than others? Do these thoughts and behaviours stop you getting on with life? Recognising that you may be experiencing this type and degree of anxiety is an important first step. Some people find the following helpful:
You can learn how to improve your breathing to lessen tension, do physical exercises to relax your muscles and make action plans to help you progress from coping with non-stressful situations, to those that you find difficult. See information on relaxation techniques.
Counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
A commonly used therapy for helping people with OCD is CBT. This is a form of counselling or therapy which aims to identify connections between thoughts, feelings and behaviour in order to help the client develop the ability to manage them.
Medication and Support Groups
Some people find drug treatment helpful for OCD, either alone or combined with talking treatments such as CBT. Most commonly these drugs are SSRI anti-depressants which may be prescribed by your GP who may be able to tell you about local support groups in your area.
For more information;
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) 0161 705 4305. Web: http://www.babcp.com can provide details of accredited private therapists.
Anxiety UK 08444 775 774. Web: http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk. Information and Counselling helpline and online support for those suffering from anxiety disorders can also help with local support group information.
OCD Action 0845 390 6232. Web: http://www.ocdaction.org.uk. Information and support for people with experience of OCD.
OCD UK 0845 120 3778. Web: http://www.ocduk.org. A charity run by people with ODC who campaign and can help with local support group information.
NHS on line: http://www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx
Samaritans 08457 909090 Web: http://www.samaritans.org.
Self-help booklet on Obsessions and Compulsions http://www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp/
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