What is OCD?

What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is categorized as an anxiety disorder. It involves unwanted, anxiety-provoking thoughts (obsessions) which are then followed by compulsions (physical or mental acts) in which the person attempts at reducing the anxiety cause by these unwanted thoughts. It’s important to recognize that these unwanted thoughts are not a reflection of the person themselves but rather of the disorder.

These obsessions and compulsions can negatively interfere with a persons everyday life. For example, someone who spends hours a day showering for fear of contamination. It is very likely that the person suffering from this disorder knows that the thoughts are irrational and that their compulsions are not necessary. However, they still feel the OCD has all of the control and therefore resisting the compulsions is extremely difficult and can cause an extreme increase in anxiety.

What treatment is recommended?

There are two main treatments to help a person overcome their obsessive-compulsive disorder:

Therapy and support

The two main therapies that are usually used in the treatment of OCD are cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP). Both of these therapies have shown to be effective in the treatment of OCD. Support groups can also be of help.

Medication

The most common/main type of medication used to treat OCD are antidepressants.