Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health condition which is characterised by intrusive, recurrent, and disturbing thoughts (obsessions), often followed by compulsions to do various acts, which one is driven to perform as a way of controlling the anxiety and distress caused by the obsessive thoughts. A person suffering from OCD can usually recognise that intrusive thoughts are excessive and do not make much sense. However, it is hard for them to control these thoughts and the associated compulsions.
Common types of obsessions and compulsions are around checking, cleanliness, fear of contamination and doing something wrong. Additionally, sexual, religious obsessions and compulsions around symmetry or numbers are also very common. Some sufferers need to be exact and specific and their compulsions will reflect this.
The treatment is usually a combination of pharmacological and psychological approaches. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention treatment can be effective.
A detailed assessment initially by psychiatrist or psychologist will determine the best treatment plan. Most patients suffering OCD will notice a significant improvement with treatment.
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