Understanding Obsessions & Compulsions
The main symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are repeated, persistent thoughts or images appearing in your mind that are unwanted, distressing, and time-consuming (for example, taking up 1 hour or more a day). These thoughts and images are difficult to control, and are often called ‘intrusive thoughts’.
You might have heard about OCD on TV or in movies, or heard people say things like “I’m so OCD” when talking about being tidy or liking to be clean. It can be hard to tell the difference between OCD symptoms, normal behaviour that’s perhaps a little anxious, or conditions like anxiety.
Common obsessions are about:
- forgetting to do something important, or doing an important task badly
- being contaminated by germs
- harming others
- doing socially unacceptable or upsetting things (e.g. swearing at someone passing you on the street)
- a need for everything to be in a particular place or order
The main symptom of Obsessions and Compulsions are repeated, persistent thoughts or images appearing in your mind that are unwanted, distressing, and time-consuming