Explains obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
Obsessions and compulsions can take over your life, and leave you feeling helpless. However, there are some things you can try to help manage your OCD and improve your wellbeing.
Remember that different things work for different people at different times. If something isn't working for you (or doesn't feel possible just now), you can try something else or come back to it another time.
Self-help resources for OCD are designed to help you develop coping strategies and are often based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Make sure any resources you use are properly accredited.
Many people find it hard to talk about OCD. You might worry that people won't understand. You might have kept your OCD secret for such a long time that it feels very scary to put some of your experiences into words. Strengthening the relationships around you may help you feel less lonely and more able to cope.
"Sharing the obsessive thoughts made them feel less powerful."
Making connections with people with similar or shared experiences can be really helpful. You could try talking to other people who have OCD to share your feelings, experiences and ideas for looking after yourself. For example, you could:
If you're seeking peer support online, it's important to look after your wellbeing. You can read more about looking after your online mental health here.
"I remember wishing I could just talk to someone who could tell me they had felt what I was feeling."
This information was published in May 2019. We will revise it in 2022.
References and bibliography available on request.
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