OCD Counselling in Exeter and Torquay

Help you live a normal, happy life

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, better known as OCD, is a general mental health complaint that occurs when someone has obsessive or intrusive thoughts resulting in repetitive, compulsive behaviours. Over time, each obsession and compulsion can significantly impact and interfere with daily activities, often causing distress and anxiety.

When obsessions build up, a natural reaction is to try and ignore them, but that can only increase distress and anxiety. The compulsive acts and behaviours that follow go some way towards easing the stress. But despite trying to ignore the obsessive thoughts or urges, they continue to return, together with the compulsions. This leads to the repetitive, vicious circle of OCD.

While the severity of OCD will differ from person to person, it can greatly impact daily life. But counselling or psychotherapy can help to keep it under control for many people.

What causes OCD?

There’s no definitive answer as to why OCD occurs in some people and not in others or why it happens at all.

Several theories have concluded that suggest OCD can be caused through a number of different ways, including:

  • Personal experiences or life events such as bullying, trauma, abuse, or grief
  • Personality if you’re neat, tidy, and methodical, with high standards, OCD may grow from these traits
  • Genetics if a family member already suffers from OCD, it could be hereditary, or there could be a chemical imbalance in the brain

What are the symptoms of OCD?

While it’s possible to suffer from either an obsession or a compulsion in isolation, it’s usual for OCD to centre around both obsessions and compulsions together. So you experience the obsession, then react compulsively to it. Some common examples of OCD can include:

Cleanliness and germs: There may be an unhealthy obsession or fear of being dirty or contaminated by things others have touched. These thoughts would increase compulsive and repetitive hand washing until hands become sore or chapped.

A fear of something not being ‘right’: A fear that something bad will happen to you or someone else if things are not ‘right’. These thoughts can lead to rituals to check certain things are in a specific order or positioned in a certain way before the fear fades.

As OCD is a repetitive cycle, each obsession will be relieved by the following compulsion, but only temporarily before the stress and anxiety return.

OCD counselling and psychotherapy

While there’s no way to prevent OCD, living with it doesn’t need to be permanent. The causes and symptoms can be managed to help you live a normal, happy life, free from intrusive thoughts and ritualistic compulsions.

Our experienced counsellors and psychotherapists at Devon Therapy Services can help you look deeper into the thought patterns and beliefs you’re holding and their consequences. Using a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)-based approach, alongside other techniques, including psychotherapy, your counsellor will help you understand the root causes of your OCD, resolve your issues, and create strategies to help you cope and control your thoughts and responses.

If you live anywhere in the Exeter or Torquay area, contact us today, and we can help release you from the burden of OCD.

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