Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Both Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale were thought to have it whilst the likes of David Beckham, Paul Gascoigne and Billy Bob Thornton have talked openly about their struggles with the condition. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a mental health disorder which can take over a person’s life. The main traits of OCD are; predictably, obsessions and compulsions that cause anxiety to a person which in turn often manifest themselves in the form of repeated actions. For example, someone with an obsession with cleanliness may become anxious at the thought of germs. Therefore they may find themselves washing their hands frequently – often until their skin is raw and sore, or constantly cleaning their house, even though they know that they have killed the germs on the first wash. Whilst this is a common experience amongst OCD sufferers, symptoms can vary greatly between people. Some may become fixated with a certain number and therefore find themselves chewing every mouthful of food or combing their hair exactly that number of times. Some may hoard things and hate throwing things away, whilst others might have a serious compulsion to avoid stepping on the cracks in the pavement.
However, it should be noted that it’s perfectly common and normal for us all to have daily routines and habits; some people will like certain things done in a certain way, some people will like things to be a little tidier than normal or might clean a little more often than most, but what distinguishes OCD is its severity. OCD has the power to take over someone’s life. Whilst there is very little research into the condition there are some effective treatments available. Some doctors may prescribe various medications, but a talking based cure called cognitive behavior therapy has proved particularly successful for some people in undoing the obsession and helping them learn to stop it, but every case is individual and these things can take a long time – there is normally a waiting list for such treatment too.
More information on OCD can be found through the following links:
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