This week, from 14-20 October, mental health charities are doing their best to raise awareness about OCD. A big part of this includes differentiating between character quirks and a mental illness.
The term ‘I’m a bit OCD’ has become a common turn of phrase in recent years, showing a lack of understanding some people have about OCD. To some degree, OCD-type symptoms may be experienced by most at some point in their lives; however, OCD as a condition is very different. The key difference is that when you suffer from OCD, your experience of obsessions and compulsions impact your everyday functioning on a significant level.
So what exactly is OCD?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety-related condition that causes the sufferer to experience frequent and intrusive obsessional thoughts, often followed by repetitive compulsions. The disorder is thought to affect as many as 12 in every 1000 people and has no preference in regards to age, gender or cultural background.
OCD often presents in different guises and typically falls into the following categories:
- contamination/mental contamination
- ruminations/intrusive thoughts.
Cases of OCD can be mild, moderate or acute; in some instances sufferers are unable to leave their home and may fall victim to self-harm or suicide. If left untreated, the condition feeds off itself and often gets progressively worse.
How can you treat it?
For most people, a combination of therapy and medication help to treat OCD. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a useful technique that garners positive results.
For some, complementary therapies such as hypnotherapy can help aid relaxation and challenge thought processes. There is no one-size-fits all treatment, and often it is a case of trial and error to see what is right for the person in question.
To find out how hypnotherapy can aid OCD treatment, please see our dedicated Obsessions & Compulsions page.
Learn more about OCD Awareness Week over at OCD-UK.