Do you find yourself repeatedly counting in two’s or in repetition without noticing? Or check that your kitchen appliances are off? Is your work station overly organized and neat? Is your wardrobe colour co-ordinated and organized in a way where all your clothes face the same way? Do you wash your hands excessively that they are cracked and dry due to continuous exposure to soaps? If this sounds like you, you could be suffering from OCD.
OCD is an anxiety disorder where the brain gets stuck on a particular thought or urge and can’t let go. People with OCD can suffer from obsessions and/or compulsions. Obsessions are repetitive thoughts or images that the person finds intrusive and inappropriate, and can increase levels of anxiety. They may worry about contaminations and could wash their hands repetitively or have obsessions about possible harm and then may check repeatedly. Compulsions are repetitive rituals (thoughts or actions) designed to counter obsessions and lower anxiety.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) knows that many people don’t realise how serious the effects of OCD can be – or where to get help and information. For this reason, they will be hosting two live one-hour Facebook Friday chats on Friday 19thJuly with SA experts on this topic. Psychologist and SADAG Board Member Kevin Bolon at 1pm and Cape Town based Psychologist David Rosenstein, at 7pm. Those interested can link to the chat by visiting SADAG’s Facebook page (The South African Depression and Anxiety Group) or directly from the website www.sadag.org on the day.
Most common OCD Obsessions include:
- fear of dirt or germs
- fear of contamination
- a need for symmetry, order and precision
- religious obsession
- pre-occupation with body wastes
- luck or unlucky numbers
- sexual or aggressive thoughts
- fear of illness or harm coming to oneself or relatives
- pre-occupation with household items
- intrusive sounds and words
Call the helpline on 0800 20 50 26 between 8am-8pm, any day of the week.