Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety related condition.
Whilst there are many forms of OCD, sufferers generally experience repetitive unwanted and intrusive thoughts, images, and doubts (called obsessions) that they find hard to ignore. Common obsessions include:
• touching a door handle and worrying that you may have picked up some germs that would make you ill, leading you to wanting to wash your hands again and again
• leaving your house and worrying that you haven’t turned off an electrical appliance leading to extensive checking of everything before you feel able to leave
• driving a car and suddenly worrying that you may have knocked a pedestrian down without realising it, that causes you to turn your car round and go and check
• experiencing unwanted violent, sexual or religious thoughts that lead you to worry that you are a mad/bad/dangerous person and need to keep others safe by avoiding them.
While actions and behaviours linked with the OCD might make you feel better and provide some relief, often this is shortlived before the next unwanted thought occurs.
OCD can have a very negative impact on a person's life because their behaviour (compulsions) can take up a lot of time, leading to the person avoiding those situations where they know they may experience the thoughts.
Although OCD can feel very persistent there is support and treatment available to help you to better manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life.
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.