OCD is a particular type of anxiety disorder in which a person struggles with obsessions and compulsive behaviours that can take over his/her life. Often the person develops rituals to try and cope with the thoughts. From time to time, most people could experience some forms of obsession, for example, worrying whether s/he has locked the front door or compulsions such as excessive cleaning. However, when a person suffers from OCD, his/her day-to-day functioning and relationships might be severely impacted.
If you suffer from OCD, you might experience some or most of the following symptoms:
- Obsessions: intrusive, unwanted, unpleasant and repeated thoughts or images such as fear of contamination, fear of causing harm or not preventing harm to others, socially unacceptable behaviour, or excessive worry about things not being in order or symmetrical
- Anxiety: Increased anxiety as a result of the obsessive thoughts or images
- Compulsions: Mental acts, rituals and/or repetitive behaviours that temporarily offer relief to unpleasant feelings that are triggered by the obsessive thoughts or images, such as repeated checking, handwashing, counting, praying, cancelling or undoing (e.g., replacing a bad word with a good word to cancel it out)