Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, more commonly known as OCD, is a common anxiety-related condition which affects nearly 12 in every 1,000 people. It’s a condition where sufferers experience obsessional thoughts, accompanied by different compulsive or impulsive behaviour and urges. Each year, OCD Action runs its OCD Week of Action campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the condition, as well as offer support to sufferers.
OCD is a common mental health condition, and you might even know someone who suffers with a mild or severe form of it, with many famous faces such as Frank Sinatra, Daniel Radcliffe and Leonardo DiCaprio admitting to suffering from OCD at a point in their lives. It affects adults and children of any age, and can have a serious effect on someone’s life. According to NHS Choices, common symptoms include:
- An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
- A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
There is treatment available for people who suffer with OCD, and your GP will be happy to advise you on your options. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed but it’s important to remember that OCD is a health condition and that there is help available to you.
About OCD Week of Action
From the 20h-26th of February, OCD Week of Action will aim to highlight the struggle faced by OCD sufferers, as well as provide support. People can take part by downloading and printing posters to put up at work, school/college or university as well as share social media images to help spread the word. With inspirational stories, fundraising events and other activities, there are many ways to take part in OCD Week of Action and raise awareness.
The campaign will also feature live Twitter discussions where people can take part, get advice and ask questions to experts. Keep an eye out for the #OCDwoa hashtag to get involved.
Support for OCD
Whilst OCD affects people in different ways, there are some behaviours that are observed, including:
Obsession – Where thoughts which are unwanted and distressing enter the mind and can take over.
Anxiety – Where obsessive thoughts cause you to feel anxiety or distressed.
Compulsion – The feeling of needing to perform certain behaviours or mental acts caused by the anxiety as a result of your obsessive thoughts.
Temporary relief – Where carrying out these compulsions offers a relief to the anxiety, although this is temporary and causes the cycle to begin again.
The treatment available for OCD includes psychological therapy which involves helping sufferers address their issues, whilst medication is also available for more severe cases. Treatment is shown to be effective, but may take some time to take effect. If you think you may be suffering with OCD, speak to your GP in the first instance who will be able to refer you for further treatment.
Get involved in OCD Week of Action and help raise awareness for the condition. Anxiety and mental health issues can be severe, and if you need to seek urgent help, our out of hours services can help for those times where you’re unable to see your GP. Call 111 for non-emergency healthcare or pay a visit to one of our centres. You can find more information about our services and opening times here.