Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition that involves obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. It can affect anyone and can develop at any age, however it usually occurs during early adulthood.

The symptoms of OCD are intrusive by nature and impact on everyday life. Many of us experience intrusive thoughts from time to time. When these thoughts become persistent and dominate your thinking, it can become an obsession.

Common obsessive thoughts in OCD include:

• Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others
• Fear of losing control and harming yourself or others
• Intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images
• Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
• Fear of losing or not having things you might need
• Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up “just right”
• Superstitions; excessive attention to something considered lucky or unlucky

Compulsions to carry out a certain behaviour is the minds way of trying to prevent this anxiety, even if logically the behaviour and thought aren’t linked.

The behaviour’s will differ from person to person but may include:

• Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks, appliances, and switches
• Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they’re safe
• Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other repetitive things to reduce anxiety
• Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning
• Ordering or arranging things “just so”
• Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear
• Accumulating “junk” such as old newspapers or empty food containers

Even though most people with OCD will likely be aware that the behaviors are irrational but the urge to carry it out overwhelms them, as it offers temporary relief from the anxiety they’re feeling, doing it “just in case” or to get rid of their anxiety can become the norm.

As the conditions worsen, OCD becomes all-consuming and can cause those suffering with the condition to struggle to carry out daily tasks or even to leave the house.

Hypnotherapy for OCD.

On the simplest level, hypnosis provides deep relaxation, which helps to neutralize the anxiety of OCD clients.

Hypnotherapy can be helpful for OCD, whether it’s looking to help overcome the disorder itself, or to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Hypnotherapy works with the unconscious mind, the part we are not aware of or are able to influence normally. Hypnotherapy works by putting you in a relaxed state so that the hypnotherapist can access this part of the mind. Once accessed, they can then influence it using suggestion techniques. This therapy can therefore bring about a change in thinking patterns by working on a deeper level. The aim is to change your way of thinking to give you control over OCD and to reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) is a technique used that is similar to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, however it works on an unconscious basis rather than a conscious one.