Health and Wellness: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Professor Christine Lochner, a clinical psychologist and researcher at the MRC Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders at the University of Stellenbosch, explains what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is and how it can be identified.

She says OCD is a chronic disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.

If a person feels the need to correct picture frames on the wall, enjoys going to places like a cemetery regularly, or even cleans excessively, that is not necessarily OCD.

She says OCD consist of obsessions – self generated thoughts that causes distress and compulsions – things that are done repeatedly in order to counter the self generated thoughts.

OCD is egodystonic which means it interferes with your functioning, you don’t want to do it but you cannot resist the urge to do these things.

Professor Christine Lochner, a clinical psychologist and researcher

Lochner also spoke about some symptoms of obsessions that indicate signs of OCD

Fear of germs or contamination

Having an obsession with harm or the fear of causing harm

Aggressive thoughts towards others

Needing to have things symmetrical or in a perfect order

Listen to the full conversation below: