OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive activity.
An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person's mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
Someone continually worried about contamination and washing hands many times a day
Or someone w ith a fear of their house being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave the house.
OCD symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some people with OCD may spend an hour or so a day engaged in obsessive-compulsive thinking and behaviour, but for others the condition can completely take over their life.
What causes OCD?
It's not clear exactly what causes OCD, although a number of factors have been suggested.
It could be something seen on the television, or an article they`ve read in a paper, book or on the internet, that got them thinking about obsessive thoughts.
It's estimated around 12 in every 1,000 people in the UK are affected by the condition. This equates to almost 750,000 people.
OCD affects men, women and children. The condition typically first starts to significantly interfere with a person's life during early adulthood, although problems can develop at any age.
People with OCD are often reluctant to seek help because they feel ashamed or embarrassed.
However, if you have OCD, there is nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. It is a long-term health condition like diabetes or asthma, and it is not your fault you have it.
Seeking help is important because it is unlikely your symptoms will improve if left untreated, and they may get worse.
With treatment, the outlook for OCD is good. Many people will eventually overcome this issue using advanced hypnotherapy.
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