Anxiety symptoms: Do you have unhealthy patterns of behaviour? It could be OCD

People who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder feel compelled to perform repetitive behaviour to alleviate feelings of distress, or to appease their obsessive anxious thoughts. Do you let anxiety control your life?

Beyond Blue understand that people with OCD “often feel intense shame about their need to carry out these compulsions”.

However, the feeling of shame can “exacerbate the problem”, leading to secrecy and a delay in diagnosis and treatment.

There are five key areas where OCD most commonly reveals itself in compulsive behaviour; these include:

  1. Cleanliness/order
  2. Counting/hoarding
  3. Safety/checking
  4. Sexual issues
  5. Religious/moral issues


Examples include obsessive household cleaning or hand-washing to “reduce an exaggerated fear of contamination”.

There may be an “obsession with order and symmetry, with an overwhelming need to place objects, such as cutlery, in a particular place”.


This can include “repeatedly counting items or objects, such as pavement blocks when walking”.

“Hoarding items such as junk mail and old newspapers” could be an example of obsessive compulsive behaviour.

READ MORE: Social anxiety: The clues you may be suffering from this condition

People with OCD may encounter repetitive thoughts or concerns that may not apply to reality, such as someone close to you is going to be harmed.

Another example of OCD is when you repeat an activity in a “ordered, precise and similar way each time”.

Although performing such orderly tasks may lead to a sense of relief, do you soon feel the need to repeat them?

Do you also recognise that “these feelings, thoughts and behaviours are unreasonable”?

“Effective treatment helps you learn how to control your anxiety so it doesn’t control you,” explained Beyond Blue.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) would be helpful in treating people with OCD.

This will involve working alongside a professional therapist to identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviour patterns.

Once these have been identified, you can then work together to improve your coping skills.


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