Obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is essentially an anxiety disorder comprising three main components: thoughts that make us anxious, the anxiety we feel and the behaviours that we carry out to neutralise this anxiety.

Often there is a sense that if we are unable to carry out particular rituals whether they be thoughts, mantras or behaviours then something catastrophic may happen. Inability to complete rituals may also leave us with an overwhelming sense of discomfort and anxiety.

We may also have thoughts that we deem to be inappropriate or harmful to ourselves or others, we attempt to neutralise these through the use of certain behaviours. Obsessions constitute what we think, and comprise thoughts, images, doubts, ruminations and sometimes a need for perfectionism. Compulsions constitute the response and may include checking, washing hands, hoarding, rituals and a search for reassurance.

These obsessions and compulsions significantly impact on the quality of our lives preventing us from functioning in a healthy way.