Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

The word ‘obsessive’ gets used commonly and can mean different things to different people. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder. In this condition, the young person suffers from obsessions and/or compulsions that affect their everyday life, like going to school on time, finishing homework or being out with friends.

How common is it?

OCD can affect people of all ages, classes, religion or gender. On average, OCD begins to affect people during late adolescence for men and during their early twenties for women.

What are the symptoms of OCD?

Some people have thoughts, ideas or pictures that come into their mind over and over again. They are difficult to get rid of and can feel silly or unpleasant. These are called obsessions.

Some examples of obsessions include:

  • “I must count to twenty or something bad will happen.”
  • Worrying about germs and disease.
  • Worrying about things being tidy.

Some people feel they have to do something repeatedly even if they don’t want to or it doesn’t make sense. These are called compulsions.

Some examples of compulsions include:

  • Repeatedly checking that the light is switched off.
  • Washing hands again and again.
  • Counting or repeating words in your head.

Often people try to stop themselves from doing these things, but feel frustrated or worried unless they can finish them. Problems with obsessions and compulsions can cause distress and worry, and can begin to affect young people at home with their families or at school with friends.

Many young people have mild obsessions and compulsions at some time, for example having to organise their toys in a special way, or saying good night a certain number of times. This is normal and may be the result of worry due to stress or change.

How is OCD treated?

There are two treatments that are helpful for OCD:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Medication

These can be given on their own or together. If possible, a young person should have access to both forms of treatment.

Receiving appropriate treatment, the highest quality standards of care and support and sticking to the treatment plan is the key to long term recovery.

At Camali Clinic we offer both forms of treatment

Our trained therapists provide Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. The aim of the treatment is to teach young people how to be in control of the problem, by tackling it a little bit at a time. The young person designs the treatment programme with the therapist as it is important to be actively involved in planning.

When the therapist helps the child to face the things that they fear and have been avoiding. They are taught a wide range of skills to manage the anxiety that OCD creates. Often parents or other family members get very involved in the OCD rituals.

Go back