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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a combination of obsessions and compulsions.  Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, urges, or worries that repeatedly appear in your mind.  These may make you feel anxious.  Compulsions are repetitive activities that you might do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. This could be something like repeatedly checking a door is locked or repeating a specific phrase in your head.

Sometimes your obsessions and compulsions will be manageable but there may be times when they make your daily life difficult. They may become more severe when you are stressed or worried about other things in life such as family, health or money.

Living with OCD may make life for you more difficult in some of the following ways:

Repeating compulsions can take up time and you may avoid certain situations that trigger your OCD which might mean you stop seeing your friends and family or even leaving your home.

You may feel you have to hide your OCD from people close to you. Sometimes your doubts and anxieties about a friendship may make it too difficult to continue being friends.

You may feel ashamed of your obsessive thoughts or worry they cannot be treated and want to hide this part of you from other people. This can then cause anxiety, isolation and loneliness.

Your OCD may make you feel anxious and stressed particularly if you believe you have to carry out your compulsions frequently and you have little control over them

Some people don’t understand OCD and think it means you wash your hands a lot or that you like to be tidy. This can be upsetting. OCD can take over your life and leave you feeling helpless.

Things you can try to manage your OCD

Build your support network

Talk to a friend, family member or teacher you trust about your OCD. Spend time with friends and family even if you are not ready to talk openly about your OCD yet. When you are ready to talk you will be more able to share your experiences. 

Peer support

Make connections with people with similar or shared experiences.  Try talking to other people who have OCD to share your feelings, experiences and ideas for looking after yourself.

Learn stress management techniques

Managing your stress is important as stress and anxiety can make OCD worse. Try a relaxation technique such as yoga or meditation.  

Look after your physical health

It’s important to get enough sleep to give you the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences. Think about your diet as eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can help your mood and energy levels.  Physical activities like yoga, swimming or walking can help improve your mood or even dance around the kitchen!  Find something that works for you. 

Self referral

You can refer yourself to a clinician who will assess your request for support. Please also to take a look through self help resources below, which may be able to offer you additional support.

To send a self-referral, tap the button below to get started.  A self-referral will have the same result as asking your GP to refer you.

Do Self Referral

Self help resources

We have put together a list of specialist organisations that may be able to offer you additional support.

View self help resources