What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterised by the presence of unwanted and intrusive obsessions and/or compulsions.
What are obsessions?
Obsessions can be thoughts, urges or mental images. They are experienced as:
- Unwanted or unacceptable
- Difficult to control
Common obsessions include:
- Fears about contamination or germs (e.g. fear of AIDS, asbestos, the flu)
- Thoughts of death and physical violence (e.g. unwanted urge to hit a friend)
- Thoughts about accidental harm (e.g. injuring one's child, hitting someone with your car)
- Fear of engaging in socially unacceptable behaviour (e.g. singing at a friend's funeral)
- A need for order and symmetry (e.g. need to exactly place cans in cupboard)
- Unwanted sexual thoughts (e.g. thinking about a sexual act that you would find inappropriate or against your beliefs)
- Unwanted blasphemous thoughts or religious doubts (e.g. thinking you've done something sinful that will anger God)
- Nonsense phrases, images or sounds