The term OCD can often be mistakenly used to describe a person’s character, unusual interests or preferred cleaning habits. However, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a recognised anxiety-related disorder which significantly interferes with daily activities and social interactions and can be very distressing and debilitating for the person.
- Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, images and urges often relating to potential harm for example thinking all handles could be contaminated.
- Compulsions or repeated behaviours often in response to unwanted thoughts.
Compulsions can be visible for example repeated hand washing. Others are unseen like counting patterns or rhymes. Not all actions are directly related to the perceived danger e.g. harm to others. Many people are able to live with their symptoms but others require professional help.
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