There are quite a suprising number of people who have checked that their oven is switched off more than 4 times today; who have washed their hands with soap until they are sore; who have counted the number of times they have switched a light switch, or touched a particular lamp. You may worry that a text you sent a friend was full of swear words, even though you know deep down that it wasn't.
Are you such a person? It is estimated that 1 in every 50 people will be such a person at some point in their lives. That's about 1 million people in the UK. You are not on your own!
Do you feel that there will be negative consequences for your loved ones or other people, if you do not do these behaviours? Do you have a fear that you will be blamed for something atrocious if you do not do something in particular to prevent it? The adverts on tv that show germs in neon colours that will cover your kitchen if you do not buy their products have a lot to answer for don't they?
OCD effects both men and women equally. The behaviours often start during the teenage or young adult years, and without treatment can last a lifetime. Do you want to spend the rest of your life 'wasting' so much time?
It is the obsessions that make you anxious - unpleasant words, thoughts, phrases or pictures in your mind.
It is the compulsions that are the behaviours you do repeatedly, in order to help you reduce your anxiety. The behaviours may not even been 'seen' but may be counting, or repeating a word over and again in your head.
Can CBT help? Research and evidence suggest that it can, as does our personal experience of working with clients who have had OCD. It's not a quick fix and it's hard work. We'd usually suggest a minimum of 20 weekly sessions. If your OCD symptoms are out of control, and your life is being run by your OCD, it may be time for you to take action.
You may feel that you don't want to get rid of your OCD but would like to reduce the obsessions and the compulsions. That's ok too.
It doesn't matter how silly you feel, we don't regard it that way, and we won't judge you. We recognise that OCD is a difficult thing to live with. Our counsellors are here to help you, so why not consider calling us today.
We are also happy to accept the loved ones of OCD sufferers as clients, as there are many ways that cognitive behavioural therapy can help you too.
We hope to hear from you.
"Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember, it didn't work for the rabbit."
- R. E. Shay