Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder in which the sufferer experiences repetitive and upsetting thoughts and/or behaviours.  The obsessions and compulsions are usually found to occur together.

Common Obsessions 

  • Fears about germs, dirt, and contamination.
  • Fear of accidents happening to someone close, to pets, or to the self.
  • Fears of oneself or someone close being a victim of a crime.

Less Common Obsessions

  • Intrusive thoughts of violence.  
  • Intrusive thoughts of aggression.
  • Intrusive thoughts involving harm to oneself
  • Intrusive thoughts involving harming others.

The obsessions are automatic and frequent. They are invariably distressing when they are violent or obscene and senseless. Attempts to resist these types of thoughts are often unsuccessful. The sufferer recognises them to be of internal origin.

Common Compulsions

  • Ritualistic behaviours involving checking
  • Ritualistic behaviours involving washing/cleaning
  • Arranging inanimate objects
  • Doing things in a rigid sequence
  • Mental rituals such as repeating words or phrases, counting or saying a prayer.

The sufferer believes the neglect of these actions or rituals could lead to disastrous consequences for him/herself or to a loved one. In the case of long complex rituals, sufferers may have to start over if the ritual is interrupted. People with OCD know intellectually that their rituals do not make sense. However, high levels of anxiety and intrusive thoughts are mutually reinforcing resulting in the compulsion to engage in ritualistic behaviours. Any relief is usually short-lived. Depressive symptoms commonly accompany the condition.

Human Givens treatment for OCD Involves four steps to help you …

  1. Identify the untrue OCD thoughts and separate them from your identity.
  2. Distinguish untrue OCD thoughts from true thoughts and label them in a way that empowers you.
  3. Learn ways to calm down at will so that you can redirect your attention to something more useful.
  4. Engage your imagination to rehearse dealing with OCD thoughts so you do not have to engage in ritualistic behaviour.