Is it normal to Have an Obsessive compulsive disorder?

Obsessive Compulsive disorder or OCD is an anxiety related disorder that might trigger you into obsessing about certain things and having an urge to carry out repetitive gestures or routines to ease your anxiety. You might feel that if you don’t carry out these routines, that something bad might happen to you, a friend, or a family member. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell yourself that your concern is illogical, the urge to ease the anxiety often feels too powerful.

OCD can manifest in a number of ways, such as repetitive hand washing, flicking light switches on and off a certain number of times, and constant cleaning. In the clip above from Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, Carly, who was diagnosed with OCD at the age of 12, admits that she has always had a fear of dust and because of this, she spends several hours a day cleaning her home. Watch more Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners here.

Get the dirt on OCD

If you’re worried that you or someone you know might have OCD, read our tips below on how to manage it, and follow our links for support.


What is OCD and am I at risk?

Both genetic and environmental factors can play a role in triggering OCD. If one of your parents or siblings has it or had it in the past, then you have a higher chance of developing it yourself; however, a family member doesn’t HAVE to have had it. OCD can also be triggered by stress - it’s quite common to feel this around exam time - and if you happen to have had a strep throat infection, a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat and which is prevalent in children and teens, your immune system’s reaction to it could also cause OCD.

If you do tend to feel the pressure around exams, our article on surviving GCSE results day might help you ease your mind! Read it here.

What do I do if I feel I might have OCD?

If you’re worried that you might have OCD, the first thing to do is not panic! The more stress you put yourself under, the more intense your OCD will feel. OCD is highly treatable with a number of methods, including a form of therapy known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. Read more about CBT here.

Common symptoms of OCD include:

▶ Irrational worries

▶ Compulsive behaviour

▶ Feeling distressed when compulsive behaviour is disrupted

▶ Trouble concentrating - particularly at school or during homework

▶ Losing friends or finding it hard to make friends

▶ Having low-self esteem

▶ Getting into trouble at school for compulsive behaviour

What should I do if I think someone I know has OCD?

It’s not always easy to detect OCD in someone else - it can often appear to be very subtle. Maybe this person is only comfortable using a certain pen to write with in class, or perhaps you’ve noticed that they organise their belongings in a very precise manner. They might also miss days off school or avoid social interaction altogether. If you think that someone has OCD, the best thing to do is to take them to one side and gently encourage them to seek treatment. Direct them to the links we have provided at the bottom of this article where they can find further help.

How do I communicate with someone who has OCD?

If someone has revealed to you that they have OCD, it’s important not to judge them as this could result in them shutting you out. Listen and be supportive - they’ll appreciate your patience. Even if their issues don’t seem to make sense to you, it doesn’t mean that they are not very real to them.

Dust away that OCD

If you'd like further information on managing OCD, check out the Channel 4 support site

Check out the Channel 4 support site (This link opens in a new window)

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Is it normal to...

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