obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) involves intrusive and obsessional thoughts, often followed by compulsive urges. These obsessions can be overwhelming, and the only way a person can relieve these intrusive thoughts is to repeat an action until they are quelled.
There are several misleading stereotypes surrounding this condition, including the idea that sufferers are very neat and tidy. In reality, OCD is a far more complex illness and can make day-to-day living very difficult for the affected person and those close to them. One of the biggest challenges for family and friends is understanding the illness. It is possible, however, for those with OCD to learn ways to better manage the condition.
Obsessive compulsive disorder isn't a one-size-fits-all illness; it affects every individual differently. There are, however, patterns of behaviour and thoughts that are caused by the condition. These are outlined below to help you understand the core symptoms. The four key behaviours that contribute to OCD are:
1. Obsession - An intrusive, persistent and uncontrollable thought that enters your mind.
2. Anxiety - You start feeling stressed and anxious due to the obsession.
3. Compulsion - You find a compulsive need to exercise repetitive acts or behaviours because of the stress or anxiety that the obsession has caused.
4. Temporary relief - A temporary relief from the stress or anxiety is gained from the compulsive behaviour. This cycle repeats when the obsession returns, usually soon after.