Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or more commonly known as OCD, is a disorder where one’s mind is filled with intrusive thoughts and/or images that impacts one’s life by making them do repetitive tasks and behaviours which, are also known as rituals that one carries out in strict patterns on a daily basis to help one to feel less anxious about themselves and their surroundings.

Over 90% of people with clinical OCD  have both obsessions and compulsions, with 25% to 50% reporting multiple obsessions. The effect of OCD can make things more troublesome and difficult in a person’s life. For example; many hours can be taken up in a person’s life by their obsessions or compulsions that are holding them back from doing things, such as- eating out, having people over at one’s home, and going to work or school.

One might feel asthough you are not in control or that you are extremely worried about the unknown. A person may feel as though they cannot trust others or their surroundings. They know that what they’re doing seems to make no sense and that they’re wasting their life on ‘dumb’ things.

People with OCD tend to beat themselves down repeatedly day by day, what they don’t know is that it isn’t their fault. They will try to pick themselves up but will continue to fall, again and again, because of this, their self-esteem falters and they feel as though they have no control over themselves.

Getting help is very important. Many people try to manage the symptoms themselves. “Some say that one can do a self-diagnosis, but really they cannot; they need to go to a professional to be officially diagnosed and treated for OCD. This would be the same with any other mental health issue,” said Mr. Paul Gangnes, a counsellor at Riverside Secondary.

A few ways to help cope with one’s OCD it to plan exposure and response prevention,  which helps one to not give in to their compulsions and obsessions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy that is focused on one’s thoughts, beliefs and attitude, and managing one’s stress. The important thing, however, is to acknowledge you have an issue and to take steps to deal with it. Being alone with OCD and ignoring it makes it worse.