What Is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is a condition, often regarded as an anxiety disorder, where individuals can experience recurring, unwanted and intrusive thoughts, images or sensations.

These are referred to as obsessions, and can come in many forms including:

  • Fears around harming others
  • A fixation on symmetry and orderliness
  • Intrusive sexual thoughts
  • Intrusive religious thoughts
  • Thoughts of committing an offence
  • Fears around contamination, germs and dirt.

The obsessions can be upsetting and cause great distress. This leads the individual to feel they have to engage in certain behaviours, (or compulsions), to try reduce the anxiety or to stop a perceived danger. These compulsions can also come in many forms and can be time-consuming.

They can be overt behaviours such as touching things, arranging or doing tasks in a particular way or number of times, checking objects, avoiding places or situations, or excessive cleaning and hand-washing.

However, they can also be unseen acts, including rumination, mentally scanning/checking, counting, praying, or attempting to suppress thoughts.

The compulsions may directly link with the obsession e.g. – repeatedly checking the oven is switched off through fear of a fire, or they can seem unrelated.

Although these behaviours may bring temporary relief, it is only short term until the next time they have the intrusive thought or are in that feared situation.

OCD can significantly affect an individual’s quality of life, including work, and relationships.

However, our support group is there to show that you are not alone!  We can face it together! See our Meetings and Events page to find out more about our meetings! 

Although everyone experiences mental health difficulties in their own individual way, some disorders have overlapping symptoms with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Being diagnosed with the right disorder has incredibly important implications for treatment. Below is a list of disorders that are often grouped with OCD or can be diagnosed alongside OCD.