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Nearly half of people claim to have ocd related traits or behaviours but how do you know when its really ocd

13th November 2013

In recent years, OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has been the subject of many popular TV documentaries and reality TV shows. But a recent survey by Benenden Health has revealed how little people actually know about the condition. 

The study showed that whilst almost half of the adult population believe themselves to be suffering from mild to severe traits of OCD - over a quarter of those surveyed admitted they didn’t realise OCD was a real mental health issue.

1 in 20 also confessed to making fun of someone with OCD or an OCD trait and 43% of people said they believe OCD traits in their friends are just ‘quirks’.

Benenden Health, in conjunction with mental health charity Mind, will be raising awareness of the condition in a live webTV show on Wednesday 12th November 2013 at 2pm where Beth Murphy, Head of Information at Mind will be discussing the symptoms and treatment of the condition and answering live questions from viewers. You can view the live show here:

Paul Keenan, Head of Communications at Benenden Health said, “OCD is a real mental health issue which can have a severe impact on the lives of those who suffer from it and it is important that we don’t trivialise the condition.  

“Our survey results showed that over 40% of people believe they themselves suffer from some traits of the condition – however we need to increase understanding about what the difference is between behaviours such as occasional checking and a desire for order – and the anxiety caused by the kind of daily compulsive behaviours related to OCD.

“This illness can have a really devastating impact on sufferers and their families and the aim of this survey, and our work with mental health charity Mind will help raise awareness and understanding about this serious condition.”

Behaviours associated with OCD can include everything from obsessive checking of locks and appliances, to intrusive-obsessive thoughts, compulsive hand washing, preoccupation with symmetry and order and hoarding.  

The research by Benenden Health showed that almost one in 20 people will repeatedly check that their doors are locked with some admitting they have to go home to make sure, with the same number while one in eight say they are obsessed with order and symmetry and have to have everything a certain way otherwise it makes them uncomfortable.

More than one in 20 also say they are afraid that if everything isn't perfect or done just right, then something terrible will happen or they will be punished.

Over a fifth of those surveyed (22%) have taken some sort of measure to try and cure their OCD, however, more than 1 in 10 people (11%) have avoided discussing their condition because they are embarrassed by their behaviour.