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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Anteris is pleased to be able to offer the service of specialists in the Psychiatry of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common disorder affecting about 2% of people at any given time. Despite this, it can be hard to recognise, for sufferers and their GPs alike.

Obsessions are persistent, repetitive, unwanted thoughts, images or impulses that intrude into a person’s mind. They often have a theme of potential harm to that person or other people. The thoughts are unwanted and unacceptable and often represent the opposite of what the sufferer wants to do. There is often a sense of guilt or shame for the person having these thoughts, which may become a barrier to seeking help, particularly if the obsessions have violent or sexual content.

Compulsions are repetitive behaviours or mental acts which a person with OCD performs to relieve the anxiety brought on by obsessions. These behaviours often involve checking that things are OK, or putting something right. The relationship between the obsessions and compulsions may be somewhat logical, such as hand washing in response to a fear of contamination, or they may be less logically connected. Resisting compulsions produces an even greater sense of anxiety and discomfort.

Obsessions and compulsions commonly cause distress and interfere with day to day life.

There is a great range of different thoughts, images or impulses which can intrude upon people with OCD, and this can sometimes lead to difficulty in recognising the disorder.

What about children and adolescents with OCD?

OCD can present in children and teenagers. The presence of mild symptoms of OCD is common in children, but where there is related distress or an impact on day to day life, a young person may well require expert treatment. Anteris has several Child and Adolescent psychiatrists with experience in this area.

What about children and adolescents with OCD?

Anteris has several psychiatrists with a special interest in the treatment of OCD. A good first step would be to ask your GP for a referral to one of our psychiatrists for assessment.

Treatment depends on the severity of the disorder, with psychological approaches and medication being common approaches. For mild to moderate cases, there is even therapy available online.

Psychological treatment usually includes an element of exposure and response prevention, and the first step is for the person to come up with a graded hierarchy of feared situations, so that the easier situations can be tackled first, and more difficult things can be built up to.

Medication treatment usually involves serotonergic medications (such as the SSRIs and Clomipramine) at high dose, and many GPs may be reluctant to prescribe these medications at these doses. If medication management is required, it is often useful for this to be overseen by a psychiatrist. If the response to a medication is inadequate, combinations of medications may be effective.

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Who can help with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at Anteris?

Dr Kimball Chen

Find out more about Dr Kimball Chen, his experience, qualifications and professional affiliations.

Dr Steyn Lottering

Find out more about Steyn Lottering, his experience, qualifications and professional affiliations.

Click on the tiles below to learn more about each clinician

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