Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder. People with OCD experience cycles of obsessions (unwanted, intrusive thoughts) and compulsions (behaviors someone does to get rid of the obsessions or reduce distress). 

Lots of people experience minor obsessions (like worrying that you left the oven on). OCD goes beyond that – obsessions and compulsions have a big impact on how people with OCD live their lives. OCD can disrupt daily life, interfere with relationships, and lead to feeling anxious, ashamed, and/or lonely. Examples of common compulsions include excessive checking behaviors, excessive counting, excessive cleaning, and excessive repeating of certain words or gestures.

What Helps Treat OCD?

The right treatment can help people really improve and manage their OCD. Treatment might include things like:

  • Seeing a therapist
  • Taking medication
  • Support groups

If you think you might have OCD, a CMHS counselor can help you understand your symptoms and can help you find specialized treatment, if needed.

Reducing OCD Stigma

You might hear people use the term “OCD” in a way that glorifies OCD. For example, the term might be used to describe people who are extremely organized or have incredibly tidy and neat notes. However, OCD isn’t a personality trait – it’s a real health condition. Using it in this way minimizes the significant distress OCD can cause. It is important to avoid using it in this way and to discourage others from doing it, too.