Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and your relationship

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterised by obsessive or repetitive behavioural and mental compulsions. To date, the causes of OCD are not fully understood. Research indicates there are a variety of psychological and biological factors that may be involved in causing obsessive compulsive syndromes but that these vary from person to person.

Generally, it is understood that OCD is caused by chemical, structural and functional abnormalities in the brain that may be affected by stressful life events, hormonal changes and personality traits in individuals.

A person who suffers from OCD may display a variety of symptoms. Common obsessions include;

  • fear of germs or people
  • intrusive sexual thoughts
  • fixation with symmetry
  • or intense, irrational phobias

A few common compulsions include washing, cleaning, hoarding, counting, or any other repeated routine activity or action.

OCD symptoms can be alienating and time-consuming, causing severe emotional and financial distress that can significantly impact upon an individual’s quality of life.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects not only the sufferer, but their friends and family as well. In particular, OCD can put a strain on a person’s relationship with their partner. An OCD sufferer may expect their partner to comply with their compulsions – insisting they wash their hands or preform some other action repeatedly. Partners may not understand these compulsions and often find it frustrating to comply with OCD demands. Noncompliance may cause anxiety in the OCD person, who may then act out in desperation.

Most people with OCD are aware that their behaviours are irrational but find the obsessions uncontrollable and the compulsions difficult to control. Counselling is often the best option for OCD sufferers and their partners. Professional counselling can help people with OCD manage their compulsions as well as improve the communication with their partners.

Currently, the most effective treatments are cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), community support and recovery programs. A combination of treatments under the guidance of a skilled and experienced psychologist is likely to produce the best outcome.

AusPsychology offers professional counselling services to residents in Brisbane and the surrounding areas. Their experienced counsellors can help you manage your OCD and work towards better relationships with your partner.

If you would like to talk to someone about counselling for OCD, contact the professional counsellors at AusPsychology today.

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