Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects almost half of the population, yet is still not fully understood or recognised by many. While official estimates suggest only 1.2% of the population is affected by the mental illness, our recent research, backed by OCD UK, suggests 20 million Britons could be suffering from mild to severe traits of OCD.
What is OCD?
Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety-related condition that can have a huge impact on daily life. OCD sufferers experience frequent obsessional thoughts, often resulting in compulsions, impulses or urges. This triggers stress and anxiety and the perception that, if these impulses are not acted upon and completed perfectly, something terrible will happen as a punishment.
What are the symptoms of OCD?
Behaviours linked to the condition vary from person to person, differing in levels of severity. Symptoms of OCD can be as mild as consistently double checking locks and appliances when leaving your home (one in 20 people) to the more obsessive, compulsive hand washing, a need to keep items symmetrical (one in eight) and hoarding of possessions.
Do you, or someone you know, suffer with OCD?
Our research highlights a general lack of awareness around the seriousness of OCD. Around 43% of people dismiss their friends’ OCD symptoms and traits as ‘quirks’, not recognising the mental health issue that their loved one is battling. Although 36% of people believe friends and family members (that have OCD) suffer from a real mental health issue, 1 in 20 admit to making fun of someone with OCD or OCD traits. As a result, some sufferers feel embarrassed by their OCD, and 1 in 10 people avoid discussing their condition with others.
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What support is on offer?
Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Paul Keenan, Head of Communications at Benenden said, “OCD is a serious mental health issue and one which people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about or get help for. Timely access to effective treatment is crucial and there are various organisations out there, such as Mind, who can give individuals the support they need.”
Find out more information on OCD, or read more about the lack of awareness and understanding of ocd across the uk.