Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
People whose lives are
dominated by compulsive hand-washing or having to re-check the locks in
their home often suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It usually
involves obsessions (intrusive thoughts or impulses) and compulsions
(repeated behaviours) such as washing, checking or counting to counteract
The repetition usually
brings no pleasure, as addictive behaviours do, and is usually seen as
irrational to the sufferer. Often it is an exhausting way of managing a fear
and can be secretive.
Checking and re-checking
doors, locks or safely features
hands, surfaces or clothing
Continually aligning and
stacking items in order
Repeatedly counting or
Depressed mood or guilt
Intrusive worries about
harming or hurting another
It is an
which affects almost a million people in Britain; 2% of the population, and
interferes with, or even disrupts, daily life. At a physical level it may
involve communication problems between the brain's orbital cortex and the
deeper structure so that a message or thought becomes ‘stuck’. Low serotonin
levels have also been detected in sufferers.
The compulsion is often
carried out to prevent the obsession being true, and so the repeated
behaviours can maintain the condition as the rituals appear to keep the
fears at bay, i.e. the house does not get burgled because all the locks were
carefully checked. Sometimes the condition seeks to control an internal
destructiveness that the sufferer fears.
Most men develop the
disorder in their teens, and women in their 20's and symptoms come and go,
often increased by stress.
If you would like to discuss any of the
mental health issues raised on this page or find out how counselling might
A provider of information, practical and emotional support for anyone
affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. We facilitate a safe environment
for people who experience the condition to communicate with each other and
provide mutual understanding and support.
Provides support and information to anybody affected by Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder (OCD), working to raise awareness of the disorder amongst the
public and frontline healthcare workers, and striving to secure a better
deal for people with OCD.
A good website with particular
emphasis on young people.
An excellent resource site run by the NHS in Glasgow.
helps people take control of their mental health. We do this by providing
high-quality information and advice, and campaigning to promote and protect
good mental health for everyone. How can we help you
In this section you will find a
selection of leaflets you can download or print.
Self help leaflet from NHS Northumberland
Leaflet from Royal College of Psychiatrists
Leaflet from Counselling Directory
Self help leaflet from MoodJuice
Swindon and District Samaritans has been
offering emotional support to those in crisis for more than 40 years. You
can call or email 24hrs a day.
Local branch of the national charity providing support,
resources and drop-in sessions.