OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) Explained


Obsessive compulsive disorder is a symptom of an underlying anxiety condition. The obsessions experienced by OCD sufferers range from appropriate thoughts, for example about harming someone or subconscious counting, to carrying out invasive, compulsive rituals such as constant checking, hand washing or tidying.

OCD is driven by anxiety. The 'what if …?' thought processes, driven by the anxiety of possible consequences, cause the sufferer to 'manufacture' appropriate scenarios in their minds, catastrophic thinking such as 'what if I do not wash my hands again, will something bad happen?' Once the sufferer has made the link in their mind between avoiding anxiety provoking consequences and hand-washing, the subconscious, anxious mind perpetuates those thoughts and the obsessive compulsions of OCD develop.

Like all anxiety disorders, OCD usually develops as a result of increased exposure to anxiety provoking situations or experiences; the sufferer then creates a subconscious, anxious 'habit' in their subconscious mind which becomes automatic. Whilst there is no evidence that anxiety disorders are genetically linked, those with a predisposition to high levels of anxiety are the most vulnerable. Typically, anxiety disorders are experienced by people with a high level of creativity which is a requirement of the subconscious mind which utilizes that creativity to create these inappropriate anxious scenarios and behaviors. OCD can be accompanied by phobias and panic attacks and can present the sufferer with a wide range of anxious symptoms and thoughts.

Charles Linden

The Linden Method for Anxiety, Panic Attacks & Phobias

The Linden Center

+44 (0) 1562 742004