Where people are having uncontrollable and unreasonable obsessions or compulsions that are excessive we can refer to this as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Intrusive or inappropriate recurring thoughts or impulses such as:
• Obsessing about dirt and contamination, fear of coming into contact with germs or anything perceived as ‘unclean’.
• Having constant doubts about whether one has done something or not — did one lock the door, turn off the taps, run somebody over, etc.
• Believing that things ‘must be kept tidy’, an endless quest for orderliness.
• Having impulses or thoughts about doing something aggressive or embarrassing which one may or may not contain.
These are repetitive behaviours or rituals that the sufferer feels compelled to do to lower his or her anxiety levels. Relief is only temporary so the compulsions are weaved into the person’s daily routine and are not always directly related to the obsessive thought. For example, a person who has aggressive thoughts may count bricks or words in an effort to control the thought.
• Cleaning — sufferers obsess about germs and contamination and tend to clean constantly, either repeatedly washing their hands, showering, or constantly cleaning their home.
• Checking — individuals may check whether something has been done, locking doors for example, several or even hundreds of times ‘just to make sure’.
• Repeating — one form of OCD is when the person repeats a name, phrase or action over and over.
• Going slow — some individuals take an excessively slow and methodical approach to ordinary daily activities. For example, spend hours organizing and arranging objects, food or timetables.
• Hoarding — some OCD sufferers are unable to throw away useless items, such as old newspapers, junk mail, even broken appliances; sometimes the hoarding reaches the point that whole rooms are filled with junk that you have to carve passages through.
OCD, like all anxiety disorders and highly emotional states, interferes with the ability to think and concentrate, often taking up a considerable amount of a person’s time and interfering with normal routines and relationships. It is not uncommon for a sufferer to avoid certain situations. For example, someone who is obsessed with cleanliness may be unable to use toilets other than ones they have cleaned themselves.
OCD most often begins in adolescence or early adulthood. Children with OCD, unlike adults, do not usually realize that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive.
My treatment will combine relaxation techniques with identifying causes of stress and enabling you to challenge the thought processes that are currently ‘bullying’ you into certain behaviours.
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