Obsessions and compulsions


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder commonly known as OCD is a mental health disorder which affects people of all ages and in every walk of life.

An obsession is usually an anxiety disorder characterised by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive ritualised behaviours.
A compulsion is a behaviour or ritual that you feel driven to act out again and again. Compulsions are an attempt to make the obsession go away and acting on compulsions can often give some temporary relief to the obsession.

The most common forms of OCD are those which involve constant hand washing and where you may have a fear of germs.
As a checker you may have to constantly go back and check things that you associate with damage or harm. Counters and arrangers are obsessed with order and symmetry. They have superstitions about colours and arrangements and rituals. Sports people are often carrying out rituals prior to performing. Hoarders feel inability to throw anything away.

Many people have a degree of obsessiveness and compulsiveness but do not have a disorder. OCD causes a lot of distress and will interfere with your life and relationships.

You can get support to help you manage this condition and there are things you can do around lifestyle change which will help enormously.
Come and talk to one of our therapists at Northernlightscounselling

Its normal to go back and check that you have locked the door or that you have turned off the oven but in OCD obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours become so excessive that they interfere with your life. A compulsion is anything that you do that brings relief from the obsession. So for example you may obsess that you have not turned off the oven. There is the compulsion to go and check. In a disorder this happens over and over again to excess. People with OCD often recognise their obsessions and compulsions are irrational but cant help them.