Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

In contrast to common belief, OCD is not just ‘being a neat-freak’ or ‘needing everything to be in a particular order or clean’. This sort of behaviour is more related to obsessive compulsive personality disorder. OCD is a disorder characterised by the relationship between ‘obsessions’ and ‘compulsions’. Obsessions are often recurrent thoughts. An insistent idea or an unwanted impulse that involuntarily invades your consciousness, being incredibly difficult to ignore, restrain, or resist. Being persistent, intense and senseless, obsessions are often a source of extreme worry and anxiety. These compulsions can be performed in many ways, but there is often a ritualised or a very particular way in which these acts are carried out. There are two particularly common forms of OCD:

  • Contamination-based. Where the recurrent thoughts are focused on uncleanliness and possibilities of disease or infection, and cleaning behaviour manifests as the compulsive behaviour.
  • Doubt-based. Typically based upon recurrent thoughts revolving around whether a particular task has truly been completed. For example, an individual may doubt whether their door has been locked even though they had already checked, even a few moments after re-checking.

For treatment of OCD, various therapeutic treatments are available, with behaviour and pharmaceutical therapies being popular.

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