In this talk, Paul Salkovskis will explain how Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) works and what needs to happen to overcome it.
OCD is marked by the occurrence of intrusive and unacceptable thoughts, images, impulses or doubts which the person tries to deal with through compulsive behaviours such as washing, checking, saying prayers and so on. For some it can become a life-sapping problem which dominates every waking hour. Other people manage it with difficulty, but feel constantly under siege from it.
There are many faces of OCD. We now know that intrusive thoughts of the type which torment people suffering from OCD are universal, and that the problem lies in how people react to such intrusions. OCD latches on to our worst fears, typically about being responsible for harm, which feels entirely unacceptable to the person. Their efforts to prevent harm have the effect of increasing their fears as a kind of lose-lose trap. Those who have a tendency towards experiencing OCD also struggle with telling anyone, and sometimes experience unjustified feelings of shame and guilt that prevent them from seeking help.
A Q&A will follow, chaired by Cathy Creswell.