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Did you know?...
Did you know.....
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition where someone repeats actions to deal with worry and fear
  • People with OCD have worries or fears they find hard to control called obsessions
  • People with OCD use rituals, combinations of actions, to try to deal with their worries and fears
  • Having OCD feels like being stuck in a loop of thinking, where you are either worried or scared or repeating actions to try to deal with those worries or fears.

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We all get carried away with certain thoughts sometimes. We might say that we are obsessed with football or with a certain films star or band. Obsessive Compulsive disorder or OCD is a condition where we get obsessed with a certain idea or worry and can’t stop it filling our thoughts. And it’s much more common than you might think - around 1.2 per cent of the population of Britain have OCD.

What is OCD?

There are two parts to OCD.

Obsessions - these are thoughts or feelings that someone finds difficult to control. They might be fears like fear of germs or dying or they might thoughts about things that might happen.

Compulsions - they might be things like needing to do things in a certain order, doing things a certain number of times or needing to do things a certain way.

When someone experiences OCD, they use the ritual parts to try to cancel out the obsession parts. So, someone might be scared that a family member will die if they don’t count the number of steps they take when they walk to schoo
l, or someone might need to count the number of letters in a word before they read it to stop something terrible happening.
This gets people stuck in patterns of thinking and behaviour that go round in circles. It is often very depressing and frustrating not to be able to break out of this circle of obsession and ritual.

What causes OCD?

It isn’t clear what causes OCD, but it can often come about from periods where people have been very stressed or upset. A lot of people try to keep it a secret and only look for help when it begins to make them very unhappy. It can be very depressing feeling that there are bits of our thinking that we can’t control.

Getting help
Talk to Someone The first step for someone who thinks that they might be experiencing OCD is to talk to a trusted adult or a GP if you have one. They might then refer you on to speak to someone who has more experience treating mental health conditions.
Talk to a Doctor The Doctor is most people’s first point of contact with the NHS. Many patients visiting their GP are there for help with emotional difficulties, so the doctor will be used to listening to these types of problems. A doctor can suggest a range of treatments, depending on the nature of a person’s difficulties.