Obsessions and OCD

Obsessions and OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The phrase obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) has somehow worked its way in to common use to describe overly meticulous, perfectionist and anxious behaviour. In fact OCD is a debilitating anxiety disorder, characterized by intrusive, obsessive thoughts and compulsions. The obsessive thoughts drive the compulsive behaviour. Because OCD is an anxiety disorder it responds particularly well to hypnotherpay.

For an individual to be diagnosed with OCD they must either have an obsession or a compulsion or both. According to the DSM-IV-TR (2000), the diagnostic criteria for obsessions and compulsions are:

Obsessions
• Recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress.
• The thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems.
• The person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralise them with some other thought or action.
• The person recognises that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind.

Compulsions
• Repetitive behaviours or mental acts that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.
• The behaviours or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviours or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralise or prevent or are clearly excessive.

In addition to these criteria, at some point during the course of the disorder, the sufferer must realise that his or her obsessions or compulsions are unreasonable or excessive.

Moreover, the obsessions or compulsions must be time-consuming (taking up more than one hour per day), cause distress, or cause impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning. (Quick Reference from DSM-IV-TR, 2000). OCD often causes feelings similar to those of depression.

Symptoms of OCD

These are many and diverse but can include:

• Constant cleaning; could be cleaning the house or washing hands in a specific way at a specific time.
• Irrational fear of everyday germs
• Checking: lights, cooker
• Compulsive over- or under-eating
• Counting strings of numbers
• Working excessively long hours at the expense of loved ones
• Constant fear of being attacked
• Aggressive thoughts about harming others
• Hoarding of useless objects
• Irrational fears, such as thinking that stepping on the cracks in the pavement will bring bad luck.

Whatever the symptoms, we work in an integrative way combining counselling, CPI and hypnotherapy to help you find relief from the prison that OCD can become.

Call 07949 856 787 to book your initial consultation appointment now.