OCD is a disorder in which people have constant and repetitive thoughts, sensations, feelings or impulses (obsessions) that they alleviate by performing tasks, rituals or certain behaviors (compulsions). Common obsessions are fear of contamination, hurting oneself or others, or causing a catastrophic event. People with OCD feel if they do not carry out the compulsions – counting, hoarding, ordering, checking or performing another routine – that which they feared will occur.
OCD interferes with daily life because those suffering from it need to carry out these rituals. It can cause them to miss important events, interfere with social relationships, and in severe cases, consume them completely. The fear and anxiety associated with missing a routine can be debilitating as well. Therapy can help to manage these obsessions. It may take time to eliminate compulsions from your life. This is done incrementally, maybe removing one step from a routine at a time to show there are no consequences with not doing something. Your therapist can develop a plan of action to free you from your compulsive behavior.