Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What is OCD?

Obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterised by intrusive thoughts, followed by rituals and compulsions that help to get rid of them. Most people with OCD have a tendency to feel very responsible for things that happen around them, and a tendency to obsess over small things. Although it can seem impossible, there are obsessive compulsive disorder treatments available that can really make a difference.

Exposure-Response Prevention Therapy and Our Case Study:

We have a programme on our website that shows an example of exposure response prevention therapy and how it works. The person that is being treated has intrusive thoughts about the possibility she could die if she accidentally consumed a peanut. This would be fairly reasonable if she had a severe peanut allergy, however, she is not allergic to peanuts at all. Her compulsions are to wash her hands a certain number of times and to not let things that she thinks could be contaminated touch her.

How Does Exposure-Response Prevention Therapy Work?

The therapy began with her discussing her fears of contamination. The first step towards exposure was to be in the same room as a Snickers bar, then to hold the Snickers bar. She is supervised and not allowed to go and wash her hands. The idea is to challenge the anxiety for a long enough period of time that the anxiety starts to reduce on its own. Later on, she manages to take a bite of the Snickers bar – something that her OCD has prevented her from doing for years.

Other Treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

This is only one option of many obsessive compulsive disorder treatments available. Other treatments include counselling, other talking therapies (for example, cognitive behavioural therapy), and medication. Serotonin sensitive re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants) are likely to be the medication prescribed for managing the anxiety that comes with OCD.

Engaging, narrative-driven, surreal and informative horror short film about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). “Joe suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When their insular world of routine and ritual is disrupted by the presence of their friends, they are thrusted into a nightmare world of their own creation; in which they must confront spectres of the past and alleviate the stranglehold of their mental illness.”