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Karen Ferris Therapy Solutions

What is OCD?


Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. It has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions.


Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind. They can make you feel very anxious (although some people describe it as 'mental discomfort' rather than anxiety .

Compulsions are repetitive activities that you do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. It could be something like repeatedly checking a door is locked, repeating a specific phrase in your head or checking how your body feels..or counting.


  • OCD is not about being tidy,it’s about having no control over your negative thoughts. Its about being afraid that not doing things a certain way will cause harm.

  • You might find that sometimes your obsessions and compulsions are manageable and other times they are impossible to live with. They may be more severe when you are stressed about other things like work, university or relationships.


What’s it like to live with OCD?


Although many people experience minor obsessions (such as worrying about leaving the gas on, or if the door is locked) and compulsions (such as avoiding the cracks in the pavement), these don’t significantly interfere with daily life, or are short-lived. If you experience OCD, it's likely that your obsessions and compulsions will have a big impact on how you live your life:


  • Disruption to your day-to-day life. Repeating compulsions can take up a lot of time, and you might avoid certain situations that trigger your OCD. This can mean that you're not able to go to work, see family and friends, eat out or even go outside. Obsessive thoughts can make it hard to concentrate and can leave you feeling exhausted.

  • Impact on your relationships. You may feel that you have to hide your OCD from people close to you - or your doubts and anxieties about the relationship may make it too difficult to continue it.

  • Feeling ashamed or lonely. You may feel ashamed of your obsessive thoughts, or as if they are a permanent part of you and can't be treated. You might feel that you can't talk about this part of yourself with others. This can make you feel very isolated. If you find it hard to be around people or go outside then you may feel lonely.

  • Impact on your physical health. Anxiety caused by obsessions can affect your physical health.


Lots of people have misconceptions about OCD.

Some people think it just means you wash your hands a lot or you like things to be tidy.

They might even make jokes about it.

This can be frustrating and upsetting, especially if people who think this are friends,family or colleagues.


Stigma can make OCD feel difficult to talk about but it's important to remember you are not alone.


Using a combination of therapies including some of the latest such as BWRT (Brainworking RecursiveTherapy) and Kinetic Shift I am able in many case to help clients with OCD. In some case almost completely eliminating both the obsessional thoughts and the compulsive behaviours.


If you would like to know more about how I can help please contact me.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)