Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects approximately 1-2% of the UK’s population, which is approximately 675,300 people, but what is OCD? What are the symptoms? What can be done to treat it?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that involves people having distressing, repetitive and obsessive thoughts which can lead to compulsive behaviours.
Who Does OCD Affect?
OCD affects women, men and children and it can come around at any age. It is most common to develop OCD during your teens and into early adulthood.
There are usually two symptoms of OCD which are; obsessive thoughts, which could be an unpleasant thought which can cause feelings of unease or anxiety and compulsive behaviours which is a repetitive action that you must carry out to relieve the unpleasant thoughts that the initial obsessive thought lead to.
The stigma around OCD can make it difficult for people to seek help from a medical professional as you may feel embarrassed. The term OCD is used a lot by some people who do not fully understand the mental illness and often in an unsympathetic, judgmental way.
Visiting your GP if you have the symptoms of OCD can give you a safe place to talk about the illness and can be the best thing to do to get help. Please try not to feel embarrassed as your GP will help with treatment and support. Without this, it is unlikely your OCD will improve and may become unmanageable.
Psychological therapy is an option for treatment for OCD. Usually it is cognitive behavioural therapy that helps to confront and gain understanding about those fears instead of using compulsive behaviours to try and fix them.
Another option for treatment can be medication which is usually selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) which are a kind of antidepressant which works towards altering the chemical balance in the brain.
Both treatments have been proven to have positive effects on the symptoms of OCD. If one of these is not working well then you may be offered a combination of the both.
For further information or if you would like a confidential consultation, please speak to us here at Salford Counselling.