An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or impulse which repeatedly enters the person’s mind, and causes an uncomfortable feeling of anxiety, fear and/or disgust.

A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try and reduce the unpleasant feelings that were triggered off by the obsessional thoughts. However the behaviour only reduces the feeling temporarily.

People with OCD will recognise that the behaviour is irrational but they feel unable to control their thoughts or change their compulsive behaviours.

In OCD people will experience tension and anxiety following an obsession and temporary relief after carrying out their compulsions. People can become stuck in a vicious cycle where they repeat their thoughts / actions which can increase distress therefore making the obsessions stronger and more likely to occur again.

Many people describe ‘OCD traits’. If it starts to have a negative impact on everyday life or causes you distress, it is probably time to contact us for additional help.

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About Talking Therapies

We are a free and confidential NHS service offering a range of talking therapies to anyone registered with a Surrey GP (18 years and over). You can refer yourself to us without seeing a doctor first

Crisis Care

If you are concerned about yours or someone else’s immediate safety, then call 999 for emergency services. If you feel that you need urgent help to be able to keep yourself or others safe it is important to contact your GP. Outside of GP hours, the following crisis support is available: Crisis Helpline In times of crisis or distress please call: 0300 456 83 42 5.00pm – 9.00am Monday to Friday, with 24 hours cover at weekends including Bank Holidays. Samaritans (24 hours daily) 08457 90 90 90 (national number) or 01737 248444 (East Surrey Samaritans), email: jo@samaritans.org More on crisis/emergency resources here