Do you always make sure your coat-hangers all face the same way? Or that your sock drawer is colour-coordinated before you leave the house?
Some people refer to these kind of behaviours as symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or, as it is commonly referred to, OCD.
However, OCD isn't just about incessant cleaning or ensuring your pantry is organised with the utmost precision.
According to Better Health Victoria, OCD is an anxiety disorder that currently impacts more than 500,000 Australians, and usually starts in late childhood or in teenage years.
What are OCD obsessions?
Obsessions can come as often exaggerated, and usually common, versions of things you’re concerned or worried about, including:
• Disturbing thoughts and/or images surrounding sex, violence and accidents
• Fear of germs, or other physical and environmental substances
• Fear of harm (namely around illness, accidents or death) to yourself or those around you
• An obsession with symmetry and order
• Excessive concerns about illness, religious issues and morality
What are OCD compulsions?
OCD compulsions, or behavioural actions or mental thoughts, can cover, but are not limited to:
• Asking questions constantly or admitting you need reassurance
• Repeating routine, everyday things, like reading, walking or even opening a door
• Excessive cleaning – this includes household objects and washing the house itself, as well as hand-washing, showering and tooth-brushing
• Excessively checking locks and other things related to safety
• Repeating words or numbers a specific set of times
• Touching, tapping or moving a certain way a set number of times
• Cognitive behaviour therapy
• Support groups, as well as education around this condition
• Anxiety management
Do you show slight signs of OCD?
While OCD, in some instances, can be a serious and even debilitating condition, it is also possible to just have obsessive compulsive tendencies.
Find out how astute your radar is with the quiz below.
If you, or someone you know, is showing signs of OCD, or would like to learn more about what the condition is and how to treat it, have a chat to your trusted GP.