Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) refers to experiencing constant and undesirable thoughts. OCD diagnosis can relate to just having these intrusive and obsessive thoughts or to having both the thought and the compulsion. The compulsion is the behaviour performed to get rid of the unwanted thought.
For instance, the dialogue below exemplifies the intrusive thought that Jane experienced when leaving her house to go to work…
“I locked the door, right? Yes, of course I did, I always do…But, what if I left the light turned on in the kitchen? Gosh, that would not be good, the electricity bill will shoot right up! Maybe I should check? If I go back, I can check that the light is off, and just double check I unplugged the iron. Yes, it is best if I go back. It is fine if I am 10 minutes late to work, work should understand, I mean better late than have the house on fire! Okay, I will walk back now. (everything checked – out the door again) I think I should go back and check again, I forgot to switch on and off 3 times like I always do, if I don’t something bad will happen…”
The treatment of OCD depends on the difficulties that you are experiencing. Often, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), exposure therapy and integrative therapy are recommended. These therapies help you to identify what triggers your unwanted thoughts and challenges these. Together you and the therapist work together to reconstruct irrational beliefs with facts. As your sessions go on, it gets easier to manage any undesired thoughts and behaviours. Like any other mental health difficulty, it is also recommended to work on the underlying causes for your OCD to implement long lasting change.