So what is OCD?
Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, causing immense anxiety and anguish, often followed by repetitive compulsions, impulses or urges.
For many people that suffer with and live with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), life can be a lonely isolating place, and can leave the sufferer totally disabled and at the mercy of their unwanted intrusive thoughts; severely impacting on their work, relationships and careers, which may come as a surprise to many when thinking of OCD.
12 in every 1000 people are likely to suffer with OCD!
The illness affects as many as 12 in every 1000 people (1.2% of the population) from young children to adults, regardless of gender or social or cultural background. In fact, it can be so debilitating and disabling that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has actually ranked OCD in the top ten of the most disabling illnesses of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life.
Based on current estimates for the UK population, there are potentially around 741,504 people living with OCD at any one time. But it is worth noting that a disproportionately high number, 50% of all these cases, will fall into the severe category meaning severe impairment, with less than a quarter being classed as mild cases.
OCD is not what you think!
To some degree OCD-type symptoms are probably experienced at one time or another by most people, especially in times of stress where they have succumbed to the seemingly nonsensical need to perform an odd and often unrelated behaviour pattern. However, OCD itself can have a totally devastating impact on a person’s entire life, from education, work and career enhancement, to social life and personal relationships.
The key difference that segregates little quirks, often referred to by people as being ‘a bit OCD’, from the actual disorder is when the distressing and unwanted experience of obsessions and compulsions impacts to a significant level upon a person’s everyday functioning – this represents a principal component in the clinical diagnosis of Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder.