OCD Specialist Sydney
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What Is OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common, treatable disorder that typically develops in late childhood or early teenage years. It is characterised by obsessions (repetitive and persistent thoughts, ideas, urges or images) and compulsions (repetitive behaviours or rituals) that are hard to stop and are continued despite their ineffectiveness.
People with OCD have compulsions that significantly impact their day to day functioning. For example, they may need to wash their hands dozens of times per day which is not only time consuming but leads to their hands drying and cracking. They may also feel the need to check locks many times as well as make sure they have turned the stove off.
These obsessions and compulsions can cause a lot of emotional distress and can lead to other psychological issues such as stress and depression. There can be other negative feelings associated as well such as shame, embarrassment, anger, guilt and frustration.
As mentioned above the conditions of OCD are normally divided between two types – obsessions and compulsions. Between the two the below symptoms appear to come up the most:
- Afraid of germs and contamination which causes an urge of excessive cleaning, hand washing and avoidance of places that appear unsanitary
- Persistent worry of leaving things in the house on like ovens and stoves, and fears of doors being unlocked
- Orderliness and arrangement – things must be in perfect order such as folding clothes perfectly and having furniture precisely arranged
- Thoughts, images and urges that cause distress such as psychically harming people from adults to kids and children
- Intrusive and inappropriate sexual thoughts of both strangers and those they know
- Persistent worry of strict ethics and religious morals
- Cleanliness and hygiene – extreme showering, hand washing, overzealous cleaning to avoid germs, contamination, infection and disease
- Hoarding items
- Reassurance seeking – for example, if they did something embarrassing in public, or whether their car is clean enough
- Checking – constantly checking locks in the house, that lights are off or making sure the gas stove isn’t left on. They might do so several or more than a dozen times
- Counting – needing to count things such as the bars on a fence or steps they take
- Arranging – things have to be in perfect symmetry such as pillows on a couch
- Bodily habits – having to walk on pavement lines, or having to spin right if they have just turned left
OCD is not limited to these symptoms but what’s key is the persistent obsessions and behaviours that a person does. If a certain activity is done to the extreme it could be an indication of OCD.
What Causes OCD
It is not entirely known what exactly causes OCD but a variety of genetic and environmental factors seem to contribute to the condition. It can run in the family genes and it seems that there may be a higher chance of developing OCD if a close family member has it. The factor of living closely with someone can potentially influence another to take on OCD habits as they witness them frequently.
If OCD gets to the point where symptoms become extreme enough to interfere with daily function and well being, it is important to seek treatment. You can talk to a GP or OCD psychologist in Sydney or your city. Seeing an online or Sydney OCD therapist is one of the most effective ways to overcome the condition.
Consider seeing an OCD specialist in Sydney in-person or remotely
If the condition has begun to get out of control and significant time is being taken up by compulsions, as well as a lot of distress from obsessions, reach out for help. It is a treatable condition and there are effective psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which can help get a handle on things.