OCD  usually appears in childhood or adolescence but continues into adulthood. It is an exaggeration of normal thoughts and actions. Most people find that from time to time, they have worrying thoughts which they cannot get out of their head or they carry out repetitive actions which are not really necessary. Obsessions are recurrent, persistent thoughts or ideas that the person may feel are senseless but is unable to ignore. Compulsions are repetitive, ritualistic behaviour which the person feels driven to perform. Obsessions and compulsions in OCD can cause a lot of distress to the individual and their family. They can be very time consuming, interfering with people's daily lives.

Treatment Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be very helpful in treating OCD. It involves learning to manage the situations which would normally provoke compulsive actions. Sufferers may learn to resist the compulsions and to tolerate the discomfort they experience as a result which gradually lessens with time. It also aims to change the way sufferers think about the situations associated with their OCD.  Many people with mild OCD can improve without treatment. Some people may also be prescribed medication alongside therapy.

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