What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

You’ve probably heard the term ‘OCD’ being thrown around in conversations, but sometimes people misuse the term not knowing the seriousness of the condition and how it can impair the sufferer's functioning. Diagnosis should be made by professionals, so take care not to label others just because of certain behaviors.

OCD is an anxiety disorder where people suffer from having recurring, unwanted thoughts, sensations or ideas (also called obsessions) that drive them into taking action repetitively. These repetitive actions can include washing their hands, checking on things, cleaning and repeating activities to a point where it interferes with their daily lives and social interactions.

These recurring thoughts and impulses are really bothersome to those suffering from them as it makes them feel out of control. In some cases they believe not taking action could lead to bad things happening to those that they love. In most cases, they know that these thoughts aren’t rational, but that doesn’t take away the obsession.

In order to know whether someone is suffering from OCD or they just have obsessive personality traits depends on how it impacts their lives. For instance, someone that can still function on a ‘normal’ level with intrusive thoughts every now and again might only have the traits, but for someone suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the disorder will affect and impact their daily lives and functioning.

Someone is suffering from OCD when the obsession and/or compulsions are time-consuming (more than one hour per day), cause major distress, impair social, work or important functioning. The disorder has an onset during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.

If you want to learn more about OCD or suspect that you or someone that you know might be suffering from it, get in touch for a session.

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