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Updated : August 1, 2022 4 mins read

OCD | Support for AFYP

Updated : August 1, 2022 4 mins read

Article OCD

Common questions about OCD

Why do I need therapy?

Therapy is thought to be one of the best ways to treat OCD. This is because OCD is based on your thoughts and feelings making you carry out an action or behaviour. This pattern is also what a therapy called CBT is based on. CBT helps you to make changes to the thought and feelings part of the cycle which can then help you to change the behaviour.

OCD is an anxiety based condition which means there is a likely cause of your anxiety, having therapy doesn’t mean that you’re ill. Working through the issues that trigger your anxiety and OCD can help you to move forward.

Why do really bad thoughts enter my head?

Some people with OCD get thoughts or images in their mind that tell them they have done something wrong or bad. These thoughts can sometimes be explicit, violent or about committing crimes. Even though you have never or would never carry out these acts.

It’s important to remember that OCD is an anxiety based disorder, this means that your obsessive thoughts start from a place of worry. The more you worry the more the obsessive thought spins out of control which for some people can lead to them having thoughts about horrible things happening to them or people they care about.

5 Tips for managing OCD

  1. Try to take notice of what triggers your obsessions. For example, do they become worse before an exam?
  2. Try to distract yourself from the obsessive thought
  3. Use some mindfulness or grounding techniques to manage your anxiety
  4. Speak to someone you trust about how you are feeling
  5. Have a plan of what to do if you feel you can’t control your compulsive behaviours

Getting help

The first step to getting help for OCD is to go to your GP. They will carry out a screening test, this is like a questionnaire that will tell them how likely it is that you have OCD.

Depending how much your OCD is affecting your life, your GP might be able to treat you or they will refer you to a mental health professional.

You might have to have some more assessments before you are offered a treatment plan.

There are also some charities and groups where you can get support for OCD. This can be really helpful while you are waiting for assessments and through your recovery. OCD can make you feel isolated away from friends and family, finding peer support can help you to talk about your experience with people who understand what you are going through.

Related charities and groups


National OCD charity that provides information and support for people living with OCD and their families. Support lines open 9am- 5pm, not crisis or emergency help lines.

No Panic

Charity providing some therapeutic services and support for people living with OCD. No Panic has a dedicated Youth helpline that is open everyday

Breathing Space

Free, confidential service for young people in Scotland aged over 16 experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety

Get Help now

If you are concerned about your mental health, or if you have found yourself feeling concerned about someone else, you can:

Call 111 – NHS 24

Call 116 123 – The Samaritans

Call 0800 83 85 87 – Breathing Space

Text: ‘YM’ to 85258 – Young Minds crisis chat

If you think you are in danger of hurting yourself or other people, you should call 999 or present to your local A&E department.