"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another"
Do you get excessive unwanted thoughts related to a situation or condition? Do you have any repetitive behaviours without adequate reason?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts (obsessions) which result in behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over. OCD isn't about habits like biting your nails or thinking negative thoughts. It’s normal, on occasion, to go back and double-check if the iron is unplugged or worry that you might be contaminated by germs, or even have an occasional unpleasant, violent thought. But if you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors become so consuming they interfere with your daily life. If you have OCD, you probably recognize that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational—but even so, you feel unable to resist them and break free. For example, you may check the stove 20 times to make sure it’s really turned off because you’re terrified of burning down your house or wash your hands until they’re scrubbed raw for fear of germs. While you don’t derive any sense of pleasure from performing these repetitive behaviors, they may offer some passing relief for the anxiety generated by the obsessive thoughts. But while it can seem like there’s no escaping your obsessions and compulsions, there are plenty of things you can do to break free of unwanted thoughts and irrational urges and regain control of your thoughts and actions. Symptoms are generally thought to worsen with age. If left untreated, OCD can worsen to the point that the sufferer develops physical problems, becomes unable to function or experiences suicidal thoughts. About 1% of OCD sufferers die by suicide.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a treatable condition, and counselling, in particular, is advised for helping sufferers to take back some control over their OCD symptoms. The psychotherapy of choice for the treatment of OCD is exposure and response prevention (ERP). In ERP therapy, people who have OCD are placed in situations where they are gradually exposed to their obsessions and asked not to perform the compulsions that usually ease their anxiety and distress. Our counsellors have successfully helped people online by video counselling and adopting exercises to help control their OCD. If you think yourself or a dear one is suffering from OCD, talk to us.