Five quick tips to tell if you are suffering from OCD

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions), that produce a sense of dread or alarm. Persons then engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions) in an attempt to rid themselves of the obsessive thoughts and calm the anxiety.

If you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, then the chances are you will relate to most of the following points:

1) Are your thoughts persistent and repetitive, going round and round in your head like a song? My hands are dirty, my hands are dirty, are my hands dirty, maybe they aren't, maybe a little, ok I'll wash them again just to be sure.

2) Do you feel you have to repetitively perform behaviors in order to quiet your thoughts? Count to 10, avoid cracks in the pavement, clean over and over, check the front door, have specific numbers of things…

3) Do your thoughts prevent you from concentrating on anything else? Such as reading a book or following a conversation? When reading, for example, you might read the same sentence over and over and never actually take it in, because your obsessive thoughts are overwhelming you.

4) Do your rituals prevent you from functioning normally in everyday life, making you late for work every day or even unable to leave the house at all?

5) Do your thoughts and behaviors cause you significant distress, anxiety and tears?

If you answer yes to most of these then it’s safe to say that you may suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. If you do suffer from OCD then you want to get help. OCD is a biological disorder of the brain, which will not just go away on its own. Don’t suffer in silence and don’t try to do it alone. OCD is a hard illness to live with, and treatment options exist, so there is no need to suffer unnecessarily.