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Obsessive compulsive disorder

People with obsessive compulsive disorder experience repeated, unwanted and unpleasant thoughts, or feel driven to carry out certain actions over and over again.

Typical thoughts (or obsessions) can include being very afraid of dirt and “getting contaminated”, fears for other people’s safety, or sometimes unwanted sexual or religious thoughts. Typical actions (or compulsions) can include washing your hands over and over, cleaning and housework, counting or arranging things, or behaviour based on superstitious fears (for instance touching an object constantly or only wearing certain colours).
People with obsessive compulsive disorder know that these thoughts and actions are irrational, but they often have little control over them. Someone with OCD can have a few or many of these signs, and they can vary during the course of the disorder. People with OCD often have intense feelings of anxiety, and they can become demoralised or depressed.

It’s estimated that up to 3 people in every hundred are affected by OCD. There are very effective ways to help people who have OCD – often through “behaviour therapy” which teaches people special techniques to deal with situations which make them anxious.


Comments (3 comments)

Is it normal for a 14 year old to be OCD? Me and my friends joke about it all the time, but when it comes down to it I think my friend my really have it. I am not sure if it is just OCD either. She avoids talking about serious stuff because she says that a bunch of random thoughts come to her mind and she sometimes cries because she feels really stupid for not being able to talk about it like me and the rest of my friends. I used to think that she was just acting very childish and would just learn over time, but we actually got into deep conversation about it along with my other friend who might be skitzo. I’m really worried, can I talk to a specialist about it?

Julia / March 12th, 2008, 2:35 am / #

YOU COULD TRY SEEKING ADVICE FROM A SCHOOL CONSULOR OR YOUR LOCAL HEALTH THEY COULD OFFER SOME GUIDENCE WITHOUT GIVING NAMES. OR MAYBE A TRUSTED ADULT.

SLaurie / February 5th, 2009, 12:23 am / #

yeah i have OCD. and its really hard to control it. Like if something has 3 stars on one side and four on the other, i have to take the fourth star off or i will get a head ache and feel weird. and i have to have something a certain way. If i touch some thing on one hand i have to touch it on the other hand or my hand will hurt. Its really weird.

brooke / June 21st, 2009, 7:54 am / #

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