What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? When does this happen in your life? What does it feel like? What are some causes? When does it show up? How does it affect us? What are the results of this? Lets YAC about it!
obsessive compulsive disorder
Defined by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA):
"Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness. It’s made up of two parts: obsessions and compulsions. People may experience obsessions, compulsions, or both, and they cause a lot of distress."

So.. What Does This Mean?
What an incredible journey it has been learning about this and discovering what deeply plagues me most moments. In my own words, it means you develop unwanted obsessions you feel guilty or disturbed about. It doesn't have to be as intense as it sounds - it could be that you're obsessed with color coding your closet and you just really wish you wouldn't be. So what you do is develop compulsions to deal with the unwanted obsessions. Basically, they're like rituals or patterns you have to carry out to decrease your anxiety about your obsessions. It's so multi-faceted, but extremely calculated which I think is why people who have OCD are stereotyped as being very neat and organized. CAN I GET A HANDS UP FOR MY OCD-ERS IN THE BACK!!!!!!

What Causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ?
Suffice it to say, we don't really know. Like many other mental illnesses, we don't yet have a firm grasp on a finite cause for OCD. It could be a variety of things from compulsions being learned behaviors, to genetics, to chemical imbalances to distorted beliefs helping to induce symptoms of OCD. One or more of those variances could be causing OCD.

What Are The Symptoms?
- fear of contamination 
- thoughts of doubt
- fear of accidentally harming self or other
- need for symmetry/exactness
- repugnant obsessions

- checking compulsions            
- ordering/arranging compulsions 
- mental rituals                          
- need to ask or confess
- hoarding                                        

How Is It Treated?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) seems to be a top contender for most mental illnesses and OCD is no different. Attempting to train the way you think and react to certain things. Through counseling, you can learn new ways of coping as you practice skills to manage OCD. Support groups have been a recommended source of therapy and coping. As always, medication is a listed treatment  ... and don't be afraid to share your story with us through YAC AT US!
Let's YAC About It!
If you have even the slightest inkling you may have developed or been born with OCD I highly recommend continuing your research about this fascinating illness. As I recommend for anything you're the slightest bit curious about. Check out Rebecca's most recent blog about Keeping The Conversation Going which she wrote while writing and researching this blog. We'll be YACing about how Obsessive Compulsive Disorder impacts us and times when we have experienced some or all of the symptoms above. This blog is an introduction to a four-part series and our last installment will introduce all sorts of resources and ways to find the help you need. Thank you again for everyone who got to this point- and again, don't be afraid to YAC about it!

Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals and are not able to provide licensed medical advice. This is a platform to relay information and share about mental illness. 


OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER(Anxiety Canada, 2018)Anxiety Canada. (2018). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. [online] Available at: https://www.anxietycanada.com/adults/obsessive-compulsive-disorder [Accessed 31 Dec. 2018].

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD) - CMHA NATIONAL (CMHA National, 2018)CMHA National. (2018). Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - CMHA National. [online] Available at: https://cmha.ca/documents/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd [Accessed 31 Dec. 2018].

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (Betterhealth.vic.gov.au, 2018) Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. (2018). Obsessive compulsive disorder. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/obsessive-compulsive-disorder [Accessed 31 Dec. 2018].

1 comment

Alicia Clark

I was diagnosed with OCD at a very young age. Routines,routines were induced by the fact of having trouble seeing correctly, health issues when it came to eating food allergies, environment that consisted of animal danders and plant sensitivity to citrus products.I was uncomfortable, stressful environments, being told negative things consistently. I felt stressed when not achieving. Being told you’re not good enough. Told that you need to slow down or it doesn’t have to be perfect. distractions during the learning process makes things difficult when trying to focus directly on something and retaining information Feeling as if I needed to know much detail. Feeling as if you have 100 things going through your mind at the same time which can make it difficult to maybe have a conversation sometimes or the correct things being said when needed. Being in an extremely disorganized and dirty environment makes it extremely difficult to fix. which can become extremely overwhelming enough to where you just want to leave because you can’t breathe. Like a hoarders house… I went to a counselor and thought something was wrong with me. I thought it was anxiety and I was offered to go to a group to learn how to cope with things and I also have taken medication over the years taken sertraline which is Zoloft I started out at a low dosage around 25 mg . Overtime, I have increased dosage with Dr iafter I had incurred head injury from a fall. I find that it’s awesome taking Zoloft as a medication that helps with mental health I don’t find that if I were to forget a day that I don’t feel completely out of sorts or extremely dysfunctional. I find that when I have gym membership I tend to be doing much better with wearing my body down.Along with staying busy with a task process. As goals., Goals for a task in a timely manner. I have been in unique situations but I filled that when I have a stressful environment with a multitude of people coming to me and asking me to help them I feel that it can be extremely overwhelming when there’s too many people with too much negative. Which causes me to separate from people.I have been known to be a bit of a germaphobe biggest pet peeve was when my friend put her hand into a fish tank I was extremely disgusted. I find that my conversation can be very overwhelming for others at times so I’ve had to learn ways to use minimal words. It’s also known that number’s- meaning that I have a tendency to count things and it doesn’t mean that I’m bad with money or even at large amounts of money I just want to make sure that when I do count it, that it is correct so it can be obsessive when you feel like you made a mistake. Working out many problem in my head. I find that letting you understand a perspective of my OCD may help others. There where times I didn’t have to take the medication. As my chimicals were corrected.

Knowing, focus was a big factor. Of my healing practice.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published