Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Therapy (OCD)

Everybody feels anxious sometimes. Modern life creates stresses that can develop into anxiety disorders. People can then become anxious about being anxious, with attendant unwelcome physical symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for OCD in Stockport

OCD, or to give it the correct name Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder, is an anxiety-related condition which can be extremely serious and debilitating. Sufferer tend to experience frequent obsessional thoughts followed by repetitive urges or compulsions.It is thought that OCD affects as many as one in a hundred people regardless of gender, social group or culture. It can be so serious that the World Health Organisation ranks Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder in the top ten of the most disabling illnesses. And another factor with OCD is that unlike lots of other disorders, a high proportion of sufferers, up to half, fall into the severe category.

People with OCD suffer persistent disturbing thoughts. These thoughts may be fears, worries, unwanted images or impulses which can’t be ignored and which impinge on the persons ability to lead a normal life. Sufferers tend to over-estimate the scale of the perceived threat which makes matters worse.

Those with OCD generally understand that these thoughts are irrational, but they believe that the compulsive behaviours are necessary prevent harm to themselves or others, often to loved ones.

So what are compulsions?

Compulsions are rituals, either mental or physical, that are constantly repeated to relieve anxiety caused by obsessional thoughts.  And a downward spiral can often be created by seeking to avoid triggers which is seldom helpful other than in the very short term. Typically the OCD will fall into one of four types:

  • Constant need for checking
  • Contamination
  • Hoarding of items
  • Intrusive Thoughts

In reality, most people will experience symptoms that could be defined as mild OCD at some point in their lives. But it is the more series instances that can seriously damage somebody’s whole working and social lives and relationships. The determining factor that defines the more debilitating cases is  the level of impact on day-to-day life. You should seek help if your compulsions consume a lot of your time each day ie more than an hour, cause you serious anguish or distress or if they interfere with your work or social life.

OCD affects males and females normally appears during late teens or early twenties. Sufferers often go undiagnosed due to a general lack of understanding or because of feelings of embarrassment or guilt. Some of the thoughts can be quite disturbing, even though they are just thoughts and would never be acted upon. It can be between ten and 15 years before the average OCD sufferer is finally treated. And the symptoms of a particular OCD can change over time just to complicate matter further.

Left unchecked and untreated, OCD can ultimately consume the sufferer. So it’s time to act now if you think you may have some symptoms, or if you know somebody that may need help. If you live in the Stockport area just call me now and we can have a confidential disucssion. Or book in for a free initial consultation. Receiving appropriate treatment is key to recovery. Because although OCD is very serious, it is also a very treatable medical condition.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, can be used to help sufferers to stop performing their rituals and to decrease the number and scale of obsessional thoughts.  CBT explores alternative ways of thinking and to challenges beliefs through behavioural exercises and is effective in treating OCD in many cases. Occasionally a combination of CBT and medication may also be required in more extreme cases.