Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

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OCD is a prevalent anxiety disorder characterized by persistent, obsessive thoughts and the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors to compensate these thoughts and reduce anxiety, even if the compulsions themselves are distressing. An obsession refers to a constant, unwelcome thought, image, or impulse that is challenging or impossible to suppress, leading to feelings of anxiety, disgust, or discomfort. A compulsion involves a repetitive action (which could also be mental) that an individual feels compelled to execute to control the obsessive thoughts.

The typical OCD cycle consists of:

  • Obsessions – when an undesired thought, image, or impulse repeatedly invades your mind
  • Anxiety – the obsession triggers intense anxiety and distress
  • Compulsion – repetitive actions or mental activities are performed to relieve anxiety or distress
  • Temporary relief – the compulsive behavior provides temporary relief, but the anxiety and obsession soon return

Obsessions and compulsions differ among individuals, but common obsessions include fear of contamination, self-harm or harm to others, or an obsession with perfection. Obsessions and compulsions can be related, such as someone with a fear of contamination compulsively washing their hands, but compulsions can also be entirely unrelated, like repetitively tapping a foot.

The severity of OCD symptoms can vary widely. Some people may experience fluctuating symptoms, while others struggle with daily tasks due to time-consuming compulsions or fear of being triggered.

If you feel that the above description applies to you, counselling can significantly enhance your daily functioning and life quality by helping you understand your condition and learn effective coping strategies.

Which therapeutic approaches might be beneficial?

  • Cognitive behavioral counselling involving graded exposure and response prevention, a counselling centered on confronting obsessive thoughts without attempting to ‘neutralize’ them through compulsive behavior.

The Hypoworry Online Counselling team is highly skilled and possesses extensive experience in the psychological treatment of OCD.


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