Obsessions & Compulsions

Obsessions are persistent and unwanted thoughts that cause anxiety and are difficult to control, for example, a person may have an obsessive thought that a loved one will be harmed. Compulsions are strong urges to perform certain behaviours to relieve the anxiety that results from the obsessions. For example, someone may lock the door five times to manage their fear that an intruder will break in.  In the general population it is not uncommon for people to worry that they have not locked the house, or turned off the iron, and then have to go back and check. This is normal. However, in about 1% of the population the obsessions and compulsions distress the individual and interfere with their lifestyle.  The symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can ‘wax and wane’ or even spontaneously remit over the course of adulthood, but relapse is common without proper treatment. Chronic suffers of OCD often report also suffering depression and substance abuse due to the stress of their symptoms.

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Clinical experience and research has shown that obsessions usually present in a number of categories:

These include fears of:

  1. Contamination
  2. Harm to self and others
  3. Disasters
  4. Blasphemy
  5. Violence
  6. Sex
  7. Distressing topics

The more common categories of compulsions include persistent:

  1. Checking
  2. Washing
  3. Counting
  4. Arranging
  5. Rigid ordering
  6. Memorising

BlueSky Psychology

The counsellors at BlueSky Psychology have extensive training and experience in the treatment of anxiety and have a special interest in OCD. You will be provided with a thorough assessment, an individualised management plan, education on the nature of OCD, and cognitive and behavioural strategies that have been scientifically proven to control OCD symptoms.  Please do not hesitate to seek help if you feel embarrassed, as our clinicians are highly experienced and sympathetic.

BlueSky Psychology, Level 10, 108 King William Street, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000. Phone 08 8212 3944