Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)


 Content Editor

What is obsessive compulsive disorder?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

It affects men, women and children and can develop at any age. Some people develop the condition early, often around puberty, but it typically develops during early adulthood.

OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you keep it under control.

What are the symptoms of OCD?
If you have OCD, you will usually experience frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

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 you feel you need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.

For example, someone with an obsessive fear of their house being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave the house.

Read more about the symptoms of OCD.

How can we help you?
People with OCD can get help from several sources. Often the first line of help and treatment is to address the acute symptoms. These are symptoms like depression or anxiety. These symptoms can often be addressed by their GP or psychological therapies.

Our talking therapies service offers a self-referral facility in the boroughs of HaltonKnowsley and Wigan. You don't have to be referred by a doctor. If you, a friend or relative are experiencing high levels of anxiety and are interested in finding out about treatment, you can refer yourself. If you live outside these areas, visit your GP for help and advice.

If you feel you are in mental health crisis, visit our help in a crisis page for advice and support.
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