What is OCD?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD for short is a condition within the mind that can take over a person’s life. The obsession can be anything that creates worrying thoughts within someone’s mind sometimes leading them to believe they could cause harm either to themselves or others. The compulsion is the pattern of thinking which continues in a loop often developing into physical rituals that the sufferer feels compelled to do. These rituals can at times temporarily help in alleviating the obsessive thoughts. The disorder is the effect OCD has on a person’s life when living with it.
There are different kinds of OCD including: contamination: causing harm to others: unacceptable thoughts: counting/grouping/
It could appear to others that someone develops OCD out of the blue but, in most cases, it is something they have probably managed to conceal for many years. Concealing it can be hard especially when the thoughts take over and, from my own personal experience, it may not be until medically diagnosed a person then realises, they have been living with it for most of their life.
The obsessive thoughts bring a compulsion to repeat things on a physical level. For someone having OCD linked to a fear of contamination to themselves or others could bring the compulsion to wash their hands more often. Although at first it can help with calming the mind it can develop into a numeric ritual so, they repeat the washing several times each time. With obsessive thinking spreading to compulsive behaviour this then creates disorder in the everyday life. Many with OCD withdraw from others this puts strains on personal relationships as well as other areas like working and social lives. Living with OCD can feel and become very lonely and next week we will have a look at the impact living with OCD has on a person’s life.