Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
OCD can affect men, women and children. Some people start having symptoms early, often around puberty, but it usually starts during early adulthood.
OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you keep it under control.
Symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
If you have OCD, you'll usually experience frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
For example, someone with an obsessive fear of being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave their house.
Women can sometimes have OCD during pregnancy or after their baby is born. Obsessions may include worrying about harming the baby or not sterilising feeding bottles properly. Compulsions could be things such as repeatedly checking the baby is breathing.
The evidence of counselling for OCD is very limited. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is recommended and encompasses a range of therapy techniques that are highly beneficial in treating obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), including exposure and response prevention and cognitive restructuring.
Treatment of OCD is usually short-term, with lasting therapeutic benefits. CBT should ideally consist of weekly, one-hour therapy sessions lasting approximately six months, depending on the severity of someone’s OCD symptoms. As with most diagnoses treated through CBT, the client is required to do work outside of the therapy session to get the most benefit.
Please get in touch if you would like to access online therapy or if you wish to obtain therapy for OCD in Cheshire at my private office in Congleton.