Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition that involves
obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. It can affect anybody and can develop at any age, however it usually occurs
during early adulthood.
of OCD are intrusive by nature and impact on everyday life. Getting help early is key and there are several treatment options
available to get symtoms under control. On this page we will explore obsessions and compulsions in more depth and look into
the various treatment options. We'll also discuss how hypnotherapy can provide further support during treatment.
Understanding obsessive compulsive disorder
Before we look into getting support for OCD, let's take a closer look at
the condition itself and how it affects people. While the disorder can affect people in different ways, it generally causes
the following behaviours:
This is when an unwanted thought or urge enters the mind repeately. Usually
this thought is distressing, for example "if I don't check the light switch X amount of times, my house will catch fire".
Understandably, such an intrusive and distressing thought leads to feelings
of stress and anxiety.
there will then be an urge, or compulsion, to carry out an action. This may be physical (like hand washing) or mental (like
Carrying out this action will temporarily quell the feelings of stress and anxiety. However, obsessional
thoughts and anxiety soon return and the cycle begins again.
As obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder, tackling anxiety is key. This is an area
I can support you in. Hypnotherapy encourages relaxation and speaks to you on a subconscious level to change thought patterns.
Obsessions and compulsions
Many of us experience intrusive thoughts from time to time. When these thoughts
become persistent and dominate your thinking, it can become an "obsession".
Those with OCD tend to have upsetting obsessions such as:
- fear of hurting themselves or others (deliberate or accidental)
- fear of being "contaminated" by germs/bacteria
- a desire for symmetry
The thoughts may be violent can be very stressful forthe person affected.
Compulsions to carry out a certain behaviour is the mind's way trying to prevent this anxiety
(even if logically the behaviour and the thought aren't linked). The behaviours will differ from person to person but may
- checking (i.e.checking doors are locked, taps are off)
Even though the person with OCD will likely be aware that the behaviours
are irrational, the urge to carry it out overwhelms them. As it offers temporary relief from the anxiety they're feeling,
doing it "just in case" or to rid themselves of said anxiety can become the norm.
As the condition worsens, it becomes all consuming and some people struggle
to carry out daily tasks or even leave the house.