In a person with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) anxiety is built up when obsessive and often disturbing thoughts, impulses or images intrude into their mind and cause them distress.
The anxiety increases as the thoughts continue to intrude and becomes unbearable for the person and they feel they must do something to reduce their rising feeling of anxiety.
The individual then feels compelled to perform a ritual or behavior, such as –
- Washing their hands
- Counting something
- Flicking light switches
- Putting items in order
or any number of other behaviours. The obsession may be different for each person.
The performance of the ritual then reduces the persons feeling of anxiety, although this is usually short lived and the intrusive thoughts begin again and the anxiety mounts once more.
OCD and the anxiety it causes is best controlled with the help of a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Article By: Vision Counselling and Psychology, Perth Western Australia
Web Address: www.visioncounselling.com.au
Published: 29 April 2015 “What is obsessive compulsive disorder”, (Anxiety BC), Available: http://www.anxietybc.com/resources/ocd.php (Accessed: 2014, November 4).