…is a common, chronic anxiety disorder and long lasting mental health condition where a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, feeling the urge to repeat over and over in an effort to avoid or decrease anxiety caused by these obsessions. OCD usually causes significant distress and at times can consume hours of a person’s day performing rituals.
- 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 that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
Those with OCD feel like they have an expanded sense of responsibility to themselves and others and may think they have the power to prevent bad things from happening or from harming themselves or others, or may believe that their thoughts can cause or prevent events from occurring in real life. This is referred to as magical thinking and allows people with OCD to feel safer and in more control, regardless of how illogically or irrationally their thoughts or behaviours are perceived by themselves and others.