Traditionally considered an anxiety disorder, more recently Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has been reclassified as belonging to a family of disorders, including compulsive skin picking (excoriation disorder) and hair pulling (trichotillomania). OCD involves the persistent experience of intrusive (involuntary) thoughts and/or images that the person finds extremely distressing. Intrusive thoughts in OCD usually occur according to various themes, such as violent, sexual, blasphemous or odd/irrational. The person with OCD recognises that these thoughts are irrational but feels compelled (compulsion) to respond to them in a way which lowers the level of distress the intrusive thoughts create. Compulsions can include engaging in various mental (e.g. repeating prayers in one’s mind or engaging in mental reversal or deletion strategies) or behavioural rituals (excessive hand washing, ordering items, checking things to the point of exhaustion) to try and ‘neutralise’ the thoughts. Left untreated, OCD tends to take a chronic course and significantly increases the chance of suffering from depression.
At Vital Mind Psychology, we have the skills, experience and expertise to accurately assess and treat obsessive compulsive disorder.