OCD isn’t just about repetitive hand washing, as is often the case portrayed by the media. It can translate to any activity that is frequent, unwanted, unwelcome, or even intrusive obsessional thoughts.
This can be anything from making sure the door is locked at night more than once or twice, to ritualistic cleaning, stacking of items, or arranging items or plans in a particular way before the next task daily can be carried out.
OCD can encompass a very broad range of symptoms, but in general is defined as anything which is unwanted, intrusive, obsessional, and persistent or recurring to the point where it can have a significant negative impact of your well being. Some people with OCD are often completely unaware that their actions or thoughts are unusual or problematic, instead choosing to accept it as part of their life.
- checking – are you checking doors, locks, water taps, ovens or hobs? Do you find yourself going back home ‘just to be sure’ you unplugged the iron?
- contamination – do you find yourself obsessively cleaning or worrying about cleanliness.
- mental contamination – critical or verbally abusive remarks and the way you deal with them.
- hoarding – are you able to throw things away when they are no longer needed and of no sentimental value?
- intrusive thoughts – why am I thinking these things over and over again? Are they healthy?
- symmetry – are you often aligning items in a particular way? Or need complete accuracy when putting items away?
- orderliness – arranging in size, alphabetical, or other orders is a sign of OCD.
Whatever your reasons you may have (or think) you may have OCD, counselling can help you get your life back on track.