Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Eating Disorders drug or alcohol abuse

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, as the name suggests, consists of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are irrational, unwanted, persistent thoughts or images. They are not voluntary and are events that invade a sufferer's consciousness. They can be worrying, repulsive, obscene and blasphemous. They cause immense anxiety and appear difficult to control. Obsessing over germs and dirt, having things in a particular order and nagging doubts are common with this disorder. Persistent thoughts of performing sexual acts that are repulsive and thoughts that go against any religious beliefs are also common.

Those who experience OCD may engage in certain rituals, or compulsions, which relieve or minimise anxiety for a period of time. The compulsions are repeated continuously and include hand washing, counting and touching things, constant rules to follow to satisfy doubts and incessant rechecking. This in turn creates a further and more destructive cycle as the obsession is used for its own reward.

Such activities are performed on a regular basis and can significantly interfere with normal daily routines and relationships. Whereas most adults recognise what they are doing is irrational, children may not realise their behaviour is not normal. Research has found that OCD usually appears in childhood or adolescence and symptoms may come and go, ease over time or get steadily worse. Generally symptoms are worse when feelings of anxiety are at their highest.

Other anxiety disorders that can accompany OCD are depression, eating disorders and drug or alcohol abuse. However, the disorder can most often be treated successfully.


# Persistent unwanted thoughts

# Obsessions with germs and dirt

# Obsessions with order and counting

# Obsessions with touching

# Chronic worrying

# Irritability

# Loss of concentration

# Trouble sleeping

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Statistics

Around 1.2 per cent of the population of Britain have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) at any one time, according to the ONS survey. Other studies suggest that up to 3 per cent of the population will experience OCD at some time in their lives – a much higher lifetime prevalence than has been previously assumed. [24] It appears that studies are divided over whether this is more common for women: the ONS survey gives a female to male ratio of 15:9, whereas other studies have suggested no clear gender difference in diagnostic rates for OCD.
(Statistics from Mind.org.uk)


Counselling combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for OCD Other anxiety disorders that can accompany OCD are depression, eating disorders, gambling and drug or alcohol abuse. However, the disorder can often be treated successfully.

See treatment page