top of page

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. It consists of a person either having compulsions, obsessions or both: 

  • Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind. They can make you feel very anxious and can be extremely debilitating. 

  • Compulsions are repetitive activities that you do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. It could be something like repeatedly checking you have turned the TV off or that the door is locked. Someone who experiences compulsions can also do things like only ever choose the fourth item on a shelf (in a supermarket), need to wash their hands (or anything else) a set number of times. 

Due to popular culture many people think that OCD is about being tidy, it is actually about not being in control of your negative and unhelpful thoughts. A person who has OCD will think that if they do not perform their 'ritual' then it may cause harm to them or the people they love. Hoarding falls into the category of OCD.


You might find that sometimes your obsessions and compulsions are manageable and other times they are impossible to live with. They may be more severe when you are stressed about other things like work, university or relationships. OCD causes significant stress and anguish for a person and it consumes excessive amounts of time. It also interferes with daily functioning and has a negative impact on relationships. 

There are many forms of OCD and many theories as to why OCD develops, such as:

  • Individual personal experiences - trauma, abuse, symptom of anxiety or stress (it can be seen as an element of self control)

  • Unhelpful beliefs - negative thinking which will lead to anxiety, anger and/or depression

Many people don't realise that they can provide an element of self care to support any compulsions and obsessions they may have - I have developed lots of free resources and BLOGs which will provide you with tips on how to deal with anxiety (which is a symptom or a contributing factor of OCD). 

CBT is a proven technique in support of OCD, as are a number of other techniques. 

bottom of page