Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts or engages in compulsive activity.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought. An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person’s mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
There is uncertainty as to the causes of OCD, although it can run in families and may be linked to certain inherited conditions that affect the brain’s development.
It is estimated around 12 in every 1,000 people in the UK are affected by the condition. This equates to almost 750,000 people in the country.
The symptoms of OCD symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some people with OCD may spend an hour or so a day engaged in obsessive-compulsive thinking and behaviour, but for others the condition can completely take over their lives.
People with OCD are often reluctant to seek help because they feel ashamed or embarrassed. But seeking help is important because there are ways that you can be supported.
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