Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – ‘OCD’
Commonly misunderstood and often well hidden, OCD affects an astonishing 1 in 100 people in the UK.
Sadly half of these people will suffer with severe OCD symptoms – the onset of which is normally in late adolescence or early adulthood.
Though we might all have our ‘quirks’ and be particular about certain things, like the way the cupboards are ordered or things we check before leaving the house, those with OCD are often crippled by their fears and live an exhausting round of upsetting thoughts and behaviours they simply cannot control.
People with OCD report of feeling trapped in a prison and may feel like they are going crazy. The World Health Organisation has listed OCD as one of the top ten debilitating illnesses in terms of the impact it has on the individual’s quality of life.
OCD is made up of two component parts:
1) Obsessions – these are thoughts, images and fears that are intrusive, persistent and most important, uncontrollable.
Obsessional thoughts can take a variety of forms from fears that something or someone is contaminated, to horrific fears of hurting someone physically or sexually as well as fears of causing an accident or behaving inappropriately in public.
2) Compulsions – these are physical or mental actions and rituals performed by the individual, often in a very structured and rigid manner. By performing the physical action or mental ritual someone with OCD believes they will be able to prevent whatever they fear most from happening (their obsessions). Performing the ritual also gives momentary relief from the intense discomfort that the obsessions can result in.
Clinical Partners have a team of experienced clinicians who can successfully assess and treat OCD. To speak to someone about how we can help please call 0203 326 9160.
We may have all seen on TV or in the press well documented ‘overt’ or visible compulsions including:
- excessive hand washing / changing of clothes
- aligning objects so they are ‘just right’
- ritualistic cleaning routines that can last for hours
- turning lights on and off a certain number of times
There are also some more ‘covert’ or invisible compulsions, which can be equally as distressing, powerful and exhausting:
- Counting to a certain number or repeating a certain phrase silently or quietly
- Avoiding objects that could cause harm, such as locking kitchen knives away
- Avoiding certain places or people for fear of causing them harm, for instance train stations
OCD is a vicious circle for many. The more someone worries about something, the more they carry out their compulsions and the more prominent it is in their minds.
As their obsessional fears do not come about, this pattern is reinforced in their minds. It is important to note that people with OCD often know that their fears are irrational but are unable to control them.
It is not unusual for the obsessions and compulsions to change over time and to intensify during times of stress.
We can help
The good news is OCD is a very treatable condition. It does, however, require the correct medication and the right therapy including CBT.
We believe that a combination of both approaches can be the most effective. This is why the Clinical Partners team includes Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Counsellors who are experienced in delivering an effective range of treatments for OCD.
These include vital support you and your family throughout the necessary period of treatment. The wide experience of our team means we can also recognise and address issues that can be related to OCD, including: depression; alcohol or substance abuse; eating disorders; Body Dysmorphic Disorder; Panic Attacks; and Self-Harm
If you would like to talk, free of charge, about booking a private assessment for OCD please call 0203 326 9160.