Published on: 14th October 2022
An introduction to OCD Awareness Week
#OCDWeek began in 2009 to share knowledge and reduce the stigma around OCD and related disorders. We want to raise awareness of the support we offer and share a story from one of our service users.
What is OCD and how can steps2change help?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. People have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). OCD can be distressing and interfere with your life. However, treatment can help you keep it under control. Read more about OCD on the NHS website.
If you suffer from OCD, you don’t have to suffer alone. Steps2change can provide support in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This is a type of talking therapy. CBT is tailored to the individual’s needs and can help people to understand their thoughts, actions and feelings. It enables people to learn useful skills for coping, both now and in the future.
A steps2change service user who has lived experience of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), said:
“It’s difficult to pin-point an exact time I recognised I had some form of OCD. It’s fair to say I was aware of it for many years before I sought professional support.
“Parts of my experience disprove common misconceptions of the disorder held by ‘mainstream’ society. For example, where OCD is seen as a ‘fixed’ experience over time.
“From my late teenage years, my OCD had a strong focus on personal hygiene and ‘checking’. This mainly involved touching clothing and surfaces.
“Subsequent to my diagnosis, I engaged with talking therapies. I've realised that my spiralling imagination coexists with lethargy and episodes of tiresome depression.
“Accessing support through CBT has helped me to manage the condition by gaining a ‘total person view’. I’ve started to see these thoughts as ‘my normal’ and that behind the mask of my obsessions and compulsions, are feelings of sadness and fear.
“Talking therapies gave me structure. They allow me to separate what I think and how I behave from what I feel. I’ve come to see that prejudices about mental health and OCD can feed my illness.
“On the difficult days, my experiences of therapy still help me. My expectations about ‘recovery’ have evolved. If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell myself to access support more quickly."
Refer yourself to steps2change
If you would like to access steps2change, it’s easy to refer yourself online. Chat to our chatbot on the homepage or fill in our online referral form. You can also visit your GP or call 0303 123 4000.