• something happening to one's family or self
• contamination with dirt/germs/toxins
An obsession with:
• symmetry or the 'eveness' of things, numbers, actions, bodily functions
• sexual/aggressive urges, religious or moral concepts, taboos
These often involve actions surrounding anxieties: some may be intricate and highly repetitive rituals to protect the individual or others from harm or to bring good luck, and once started are unstoppable.
Many are repetitive or checking actions:
• saying something out loud or in one's head over and over again
• checking that windows/doors are locked before leaving the house
• excessive hand washing, cleaning, counting, hoarding or saving things
• touching objects or people
• doing everything precisely, perfectly and slowly
Some compulsions may be the avoidance of something (possibly associated with an obsession), or asking for reassurance all the time.
Obsessions and compulsions can take up an enormous part of someone's waking hours. If the OCD sufferer is a child, the resulting behaviours and time involved with rituals can become extremely frustrating for parents, teachers and friends.
Some obsessions and compulsions can cause the sufferer huge embarrassment, anxiety and in extreme cases, depression. Unusual, sexual or aggressive obsessions or compulsions can be severely disabling because of the mental agonies that the person is going through each time a thought intrudes, or they have to perform their compulsion.
For more information, email us here, or call 0800 138 1184 to discuss a referral in confidence.