Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where everyday life is disrupted by intrusive thoughts and often repetitive rituals to cope with them, such as excessive hand washing or checking whether doors are locked. This makes it difficult to lead a normal life and is costly to the sufferer and wider society, in terms of lost employment and life opportunities, impact on family, and support and welfare costs.
Medication and psychological treatments can work for relieving symptoms. However, high demand and limited resources mean there can be a wait to receive specialist help. New NIHR research shows promise for using self-help materials combined with modest levels of support from mental health practitioners, while patients wait for more intensive treatment.
The findings boiled down, alongside practical questions to consider.
People have a choice of routes when seeking help for OCD.
NIHR research examined medical and psychological treatments.
of the population affected by OCD
average time until people seek and receive treatment for OCD, during which the condition often gets worse
in the World Health Organisation (WHO) ranking of the most disabling illnesses of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and reduced quality of life
Dickon Allen, July 26th
, July 26th
Patient, July 26th