OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDERS

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterised by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviours (compulsions). Repetitive behaviours such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.

Facts about Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental anxiety disorder which produces repeated thoughts or images about many different things, such as fear of germs, dirt, or intruders; acts of violence; hurting loved ones; sexual acts; or being overly tidy;
  • Daniel Radcliffe, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Fox and Justin Timberlake are all celebrities who have lived with OCD;
  • According to the World Health Organisation, anxiety disorders, like OCD, are more prevalent in developed countries than in developing countries;
  • 10%-15% is the number of people in Ireland dealing with OCD;
  • OCD symptoms are divided between obsessions: recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses, and compulsions: repetitive behaviours or mental acts that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession;
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication are two ways of treating OCD;
  • People with family members who suffer from OCD might be predisposed to the illness. Also, as an anxiety disorder, experts believe that OCD might also be linked to levels of serotonin in the brain and stress or illness may trigger its symptoms;
  • OCD is treatable, and people who suffer from it can live a normal life;
  • OCD may affect men and women equally.

Symptoms for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Fear of being contaminated by touching objects others have touched;
  • Doubts that you’ve locked the door or turned off the cooker/hair straighteners etc;
  • Intense stress when objects aren’t orderly or facing a certain way;
  • Images of hurting yourself or someone else that are unwanted and make you uncomfortable;
  • Thoughts about shouting obscenities or acting inappropriately that are unwanted and make you uncomfortable;
  • Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands;
  • Distress about unpleasant sexual images repeating in your mind.

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