What is OCD and can I do anything about it?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition where you have recurring thoughts and repetitive behaviours that you cannot control. OCD may affect areas of your life such as at work or in relationships, with it affecting 1 in 50 people in the UK. 

The obsessions and compulsions characterised by OCD may create patterns such as:

Fear of contamination – cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.

Repeated checking, such as the door being locked or the oven turned off. Things that may be linked to potential danger.

Fear that if everything isn’t done just right, that something terrible will happen to yourself or loved ones.

Obsession with symmetry or superstitions about order and arrangements.

Thankfully, through increased awareness  and because information is now easier to access online, people are getting diagnosed much sooner.

Things you can do

  1. Try to identify your triggers. Keep a track and diary of your own symptoms.
  2. Eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Increased serotonin levels can help with anxiety.
  3. Limit caffeinated foods and drinks. This decreases serotonin.
  4. Try and exercise regularly.
  5. Talk to your GP to get signposted to the most appropriate help.
  6. Look to join a local support group.

Useful links & resources

OCD Signs & Symptoms Rethink Mental Illness
This wesbite gives information on the symptoms, causes and treatments for OCD. It also has information for carers and family members.

Find Out More About OCD OCD-UK
This website will help you understand OCD better, symptoms and possible causes.

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