What is OCD?

The two key features of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are:

Obsessions: which are thoughts that do not stop, preoccupy the persons mind the majority of the time, and do not stop even when the person wants them too. People with OCD tend to have obsessive thoughts regarding germs, numbers, tidiness, dust, diseases/infections but there are many more those are just the typical themes in OCD.

Then the person has Compulsions in order to stop the excessive thoughts (obsessions): this can manifest as (but are not limited too)

  • constantly washing hands
  • cleaning
  • counting numbers out loud
  • picking at a body part

These compulsions provide temporary relief to the person suffering as their obsessive thoughts concerning them go away, however they always return and studies have shown that by the individual engaging in compulsions it actually strengthens the obsessive thoughts.

Other characteristics may include (but are not limited to): needing the external world and internal word to be perfect i.e. always clean, everything in a straight line, everything must be neat and orderly. Their need for the external world to be neat and orderly interferes with their day-to-day life as they cannot move on from this need.

It may result in missing school or work to clean their room, not handing in assignments on time due to their need to make it perfect, to not going outside because the outside world is so chaotic it overwhelms them. They may have a need to control in every aspect of their life. They may not like doing places where they do not have full control of their environment, due to feeling overwhelmed by uncontrollable, foreign stimuli.