May 22 – 28 is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Awareness Week.
Depression and Anxiety are amongst the most common mental health issues affecting us these days. Depression is categorised as a ‘mood’ disorder and there are many types of mood disorders. The same applies to Anxiety, there are many types of anxiety disorder that can affect us. One of them is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (or OCD for short) is a type of anxiety disorder where obsessions, like a fear something bad may happen to someone, is accompanied by compulsive behaviour or action. A person, for example, might think something bad will happen but if they clap their hands three times that bad thing won’t happen.
During OCD Awareness Week Australia’s peak mental health organisations will be holding events to raise awareness of this often misunderstood condition. You can learn more about OCD from one of those organisations, Wayahead here.
Like so many mental health conditions, there is often a great deal of shame in having the condition. In the case of OCD, the shame and added anxiety felt about having it often increases the severity of the condition.
Australia’s major depression and anxiety awareness organisation beyoundblue explain that the consequent secrecy associated with having CD can cause a delay in its diagnosis and treatment. There is a wider understanding of the additional suffering caused by delayed diagnosis and treatment of Anxiety and Depression. People with OCD find themselves in the same situation. Like so many mental health conduction, OCD can also result in social isolation, beyondlue explain, such as children failing to attend school or adults becoming housebound and, family and friends can be affected as well.
The good news is that OCD is treatable and new research shows that good support networks from family and play an important part in treatment.