Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. It can be very distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you keep it under control.

An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease. A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought. For example, someone with an obsessive fear of being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave their house.

Women can sometimes have OCD during pregnancy or after their baby is born. Obsessions may include worrying about harming the baby or not sterilising feeding bottles properly. Compulsions could be things such as repeatedly checking the baby is breathing.

What is OCD?

In the bleow video, Professor Swaran Singh explains the symptoms and treatment options for OCD. 

What is OCD?

Dr Isobel Heyman from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust describes what OCD is, and talks about how common it is and the theories about what causes it. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for OCD is a very effective treatment and can help reduce the impact it has on your life. You can find out more about CBT here


Updated on: 21/04/2022