Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety related condition. A person with OCD experiences frequent intrusive and unwanted obsessional thoughts which are very difficult to ignore.

Common obsessions include:  Contamination, Harm, Losing control and Perfectionism.

Compulsions are mental and/or physical rituals and behaviours that are a reaction to the obsessive thoughts.

Common compulsions include: Washing and cleaning, Checking and Repeating

It’s estimated that 1 in 200 children and teenagers have OCD; it can often go undiagnosed for years.


People with OCD

OCD can disrupt routines and make day to day life stressful and difficult. People with OCD can suffer from high levels of anxiety and find that it consumes a lot of their time and attention.

Stress, lack of sleep and poor nutrition caused by OCD can lead to physical complaints.

Individuals with OCD are more likely to have other mental health issues.

Most people with OCD know their thoughts and behaviour are irrational but feel unable to stop them.


Things they might find difficult

How friends react to a person’s OCD or stress from hiding their rituals can affect a child’s social life.

OCD can cause problems in school/work; affecting attendance and attention in class or similar work settings.

An individual’s self-esteem can be brought down if their OCD leads to embarrassment or makes a person feel that they are “crazy”.


Things that might not help

Participating and/or assisting in their behaviour.

Helping them in their avoidance.

Accommodating their behaviour by making changes to leisure activities, routines or work