Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in Australia. Around 6 in 10 women will suffer from one during their lifetime. Sadly, there remains a lot of stigma around discussing these disorders and the way they can affect our lives, which means many women often go untreated.
It’s important to know though, that there are resources available in your community for helping you cope if your life is affected by anxiety - you don’t have to suffer alone. Today we attempt to shed some light on the little-known issue of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - otherwise known as OCD, to help you recognise if you or someone close to you may be affected…
What is OCD?
OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety-related disorder characterised by ongoing, intrusive unwanted thoughts that lead to obsessive rituals and compulsive actions.
Following is a list of the most commonly reported OCD symptoms. A person with OCD may experience some, or all of these symptoms:
-Obsessive fear of forgetting to do things such as locking doors or turning off appliances
-Obsessive fear of not doing things in a precise order
-Persistent, unwanted thoughts about violence, accidents or sex
-Fear of contamination – such as from bathrooms, door handles or cutlery
-Fear of becoming sick or dying
-Obsession with repeating actions a specific number of times
-Constant and obsessive hand-washing, brushing teeth or hygiene practices
-Compulsive rearranging or reordering of items in a particular way
-Compulsively and repeatedly checking door locks and appliance switches
People with OCD perform these obsessive and compulsive behaviours because it gives them temporary relief from their anxiety, however a new anxiety or intrusive thought is never far away and severe OCD can be a crippling disorder that affects all parts of a person’s life, preventing them from enjoying normal activities and performing everyday tasks. If you feel that obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions are taking over your life, it’s important to seek help. The first step is to speak to your GP. Your GP will be able to give you a thorough assessment to determine whether you may have OCD and refer you to a mental health specialist who can work with you individually to treat the root of your anxiety.
For more information on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or any other mental health issues, speak to your GP or go to: www.beyondblue.org.au