Do you ever feel like you can’t control your thoughts, or must you do something repeatedly until it feels ‘just right’? If so, you might show signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a mental health condition that can affect your life, but it’s manageable with the right help. In this article, we’ll talk about nine signs that you might have OCD. Remember, only a mental health professional can diagnose OCD, but understanding these signs can be your first step toward getting help.
9 Potential Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
You Experience Recurring Unwanted Thoughts or Fears
People with OCD often have recurring thoughts or fears they cannot control. These can be about anything, like fear of germs, fear of forgetting something, or fear of harming someone by accident. These thoughts can be distressing and hard to stop, even when the person knows they’re unrealistic.
Your Daily Life is Disrupted by Your Thoughts or Actions
If your thoughts or actions take up a lot of time (more than an hour each day) and disrupt your daily life – like school, work, or relationships – this can be a sign of OCD. In this case, you need to look for licensed therapists in Calgary.
You Feel Compelled to Perform Certain Actions Repeatedly
You might need to wash your hands often, even if they’re not dirty. Or, you might need to check the door is locked multiple times before leaving the house.
You Get No Pleasure From Your Rituals, Only Temporary Relief
People with OCD don’t perform their rituals because they enjoy them. They do them to get temporary relief from the distress caused by their obsessive thoughts.
You Experience Significant Distress About Your Thoughts and Rituals
People with OCD often feel very upset or anxious about their thoughts and the rituals they feel compelled to perform. This distress can interfere with their ability to enjoy life.
Your Obsessions and Compulsions Have Been Consistent Over Time
If you’ve experienced these thoughts and behaviours consistently over some time (like several weeks or months), this can be a sign of OCD.
You Have Obsessive Thoughts That Are Out of Proportion to the Situation
Sometimes, people with OCD will have much more extreme thoughts than the situation calls for. For example, they might worry excessively about a speck of dirt on their hands, even though they know it’s not a big deal.
You Try to Ignore or Suppress Obsessive Thoughts or Compulsions
If you’ve tried to ignore or stop your obsessive thoughts or compulsions but can’t, this might be a sign of OCD.
You Use Alcohol or Drugs to Try to Reduce Your Anxiety
Sometimes, people with OCD might use alcohol or drugs to reduce their anxiety or stop their obsessive thoughts. It is not a healthy coping strategy and can indicate that professional help is needed.
If you’re experiencing any of these nine signs, you may have OCD. But don’t panic. Remember, help is available. Reach out to a trusted adult or mental health professional to talk about what you’re experiencing. They can guide you to the next steps, whether therapy, medication, or more information. You’re not alone, and with help, OCD can be managed. You can take control of your life – reaching out for help is the first step.