MHAW - Ask About OCD

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shadowdweller
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Mental Health Awareness Week - OCD

OCD is something there's often a lot of misconceptions about, from thinking it's purely about germs, or being overly neat, to it's common misuse in society, with people being 'a bit OCD about xyz'. As part of MHAW, and as a result of the other AMA/Ask About threads that have been cropping up, I thought I'd start a conversation around OCD, and any questions people might have about it.

The information is taken (read: shamelessly copied) from Mind, NHS, and OCDUK, to give a broader and more detailed overview of the condition, but please ask any questions you have, and I'll answer as best I can! :yep:

What does it stand for?
OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and as the name implies, comprises of two main parts: Obsessions, and Compulsions.

Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, or worries that continually appear in your mind, whilst compulsions are repeated actions that you do to try rid yourself of the thought, or reduce the anxiety caused by it. This might be checking that a door or window is locked, or repeating a specific phrase or number.

With OCD, the compulsions generally only provide temporary relief from the thought, and the cycle will continue to repeat, often causing feelings of frustration. Stress can significantly impact OCD, and can cause the obsession to repeat themselves more frequently.

What are the types?
- Checking
- Contamination / Mental Contamination
- Hoarding
- Ruminations / Intrusive Thoughts

What are some common compulsive behaviours?
- Cleaning and hand washing
- Checking
- Ordering and arranging
- Hoarding
- Asking for reassurance
- Repeating words in their head
- Thinking "neutralising" thoughts to counter the obsessive thoughts
- Avoiding places and situations that could trigger obsessive thoughts

OCD is diagnosed when the Obsessions and Compulsions...
- Consume excessive amounts of time (approx. an hour or more).
- Cause significant distress and anguish.
- Interfere with daily functioning at home, school, or work
- Interfere with social activities/ family life/relationships.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Great thread. I'm still rather ignorant about OCD and what the recommended "treatments" are for it. Would be interested in hearing more about this if possible
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Rigel
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Awesome thread . I have OCD, happy to answer questions if people have them. The medication I've been on for 3 months has really helped relieve my symptoms. :yep:
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Great thread. I'm still rather ignorant about OCD and what the recommended "treatments" are for it. Would be interested in hearing more about this if possible
Partly it depends on the severity of the OCD - so someone with a relatively mild form of the condition might just have a short course of therapy, whilst someone with a more severe form would have a longer course, and possibly given medication too. The therapy would normally be CBT, with ERP, and the medication would be a form of SSRI.

ERP is Exposure and Response Prevention, or exposure therapy. Basically, you'd be exposed to a situation that made you feel anxious, and your therapist would encourage you to work through the feeling, instead of carrying out the compulsion. The idea being that you start to recognise that the feelings do eventually go on their own, and so the obsessions cause less anxiety as the process is repeated. Most people find this to be the case, and that they feel less need to do the compulsions alongside this, which is known as habituation.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
Partly it depends on the severity of the OCD - so someone with a relatively mild form of the condition might just have a short course of therapy, whilst someone with a more severe form would have a longer course, and possibly given medication too. The therapy would normally be CBT, with ERP, and the medication would be a form of SSRI.

ERP is Exposure and Response Prevention, or exposure therapy. Basically, you'd be exposed to a situation that made you feel anxious, and your therapist would encourage you to work through the feeling, instead of carrying out the compulsion. The idea being that you start to recognise that the feelings do eventually go on their own, and so the obsessions cause less anxiety as the process is repeated. Most people find this to be the case, and that they feel less need to do the compulsions alongside this, which is known as habituation.
Thanks for answering this - good to learn more about ERP! Makes sense that treatments will vary depending on the severity :yes:
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Anonymous #1
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Love this! I always research OCD so I know a fair bit about it. I've always thought it is a possibility I have it but then I doubt it (ironic as I guess that's another symptom!)
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Rigel
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Love this! I always research OCD so I know a fair bit about it. I've always thought it is a possibility I have it but then I doubt it (ironic as I guess that's another symptom!)
You can always go to the GP and talk to them about it if you think you might have it.
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(Original post by Rigel)
You can always go to the GP and talk to them about it if you think you might have it.
Wouldn’t be confident enough to do that! I haven’t told anyone and although it’s frustrating it doesn’t interfer loads, just a bit. I can totally understand how it affects other people though - I couldn’t imagine mine say 10 times as worse, as others may be.
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Rigel
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Wouldn’t be confident enough to do that! I haven’t told anyone and although it’s frustrating it doesn’t interfer loads, just a bit. I can totally understand how it affects other people though - I couldn’t imagine mine say 10 times as worse, as others may be.
Fair enough, provided it doesn't interfere too much with your life and wellbeing

If you ever felt it was getting worse and you were worried about going to the GP, if you write a list of symptoms and hand it to your GP they will be able to help you based on that. This is what I did.
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