Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (often known as OCD) is a form of anxiety which affects between 1 and 2% of people, regardless of age, social group, gender or ethnic background. This form of anxiety commonly starts in late adolescence or early adulthood, but can begin at any time. Battling with an obsessive compulsive disorder can cause serious distress to both the sufferer and the people around them. The symptoms can vary greatly but in all cases they are likely to cause anxiety and can be frightening and unpleasant.
Obsessive compulsive disorder has two main components: obsessions and compulsions.
WHAT ARE OBSESSIONS?
Obsessions are quite different to the ordinary, everyday worries that we all experience in our day-to-day life. Obsessions are intrusive thoughts, images or urges that repeatedly appear in your mind and cause significant fear and anxiety.
Common obsessions include:
• Fear of contamination by dirt, germs and viruses (e.g. HIV)
• Worries of having not locked the door or turned off the oven
• A need for perfection and order
• Fear of making a mistake or behaving inappropriately
• Imagining causing hurt, harm or upset, such as pushing someone in front of a train
• Unpleasant thoughts or images of blasphemy, swearing, sex or someone being harmed
• Intrusive sexual impulses, such as worrying you will expose yourself in public
• ‘Forbidden’ thoughts, such as thinking about abusing a child
• Hypochondria and excessive doubts, such as thinking you have cancer despite having no symptoms
Obsessions can be about anything and can often leave you feeling disgusted, guilty or apprehensive. Obsessions can seem frightening or so disturbing that you can’t share them with others. You may try to suppress or ignore these thoughts, but by doing so they are likely to become even more intrusive and cause further anxiety.
Compulsions are actions or thoughts you feel compelled to repeat, often as a response to an obsession aimed at reducing the associated anxiety. For example, you may excessively wash your hands as a response to an obsessional fear about germs. You may repeatedly check you’ve locked the door or turned off the oven. You may feel the need to repeatedly touch every light switch in the house eight times to prevent harm coming to a loved one. You may feel the need to arrange all the items in your fridge by colour.
Whatever the compulsion, you are unlikely to experience any pleasure or fulfilment when carrying out it out and yet still find yourself doing it over and over again. Some will spend hours carrying out compulsions and as a consequence it interferes with their normal everyday activities. Others will carry out their compulsions in secret, like ‘rituals’.
Hypnotherapy is a gentle, logical and effective method that works WITH the subconscious. In finding out why you suffer from your obsessive compulsive disorder or in deed what is the message behind it. Your subconscious mind knows exactly ‘Why’ and in using the power of hypnosis accessing the subconscious mind you can make the positive changes that you need to make in a relaxed and calm way. You are then free to lead a life free of the anxiety and compulsion.