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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

I n f o r m a t i o n   F o r   S t a f f

This text will use medical terminology to describe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) because it is usually described using medical terms.  We do not deny that some brains are maybe more predisposed to having OCD.


The causes of OCD are not totally agreed upon.  Some people say that OCD is just a symptom of an underlying anxiety disorder, because if the anxiety is removed the OCD fades away (  Others believe OCD to be a stand-alone disorder.  It does seem that OCD is closely related to anxiety and stress. 


The main treatments used for obsessive compulsive disorder are cognitive behavioural therapy, and medication.  These are often used together, although they can be used individually.  Other successful treatments include hypnotherapy and counselling.


The two main problem areas for OCD people are:




Worries about dirt or illness are very common and may make people with OCD feel anxious. This may lead them to do things which make them feel better.  Unfortunately, some people with OCD may become depressed.


Compulsions or rituals


These are the things individuals with OCD feel they have to do. There are usually two kinds, visible and internal.

 Examples of visible rituals are:


Examples of internal rituals are:


Everyone may show some of these behaviours at times.  People are said to have OCD if the behaviours are constant, troubling and intense.  Individuals may have problems with social relationships as well as with educational achievement.  OCD is not the result of diet, drug abuse or life-style. It can lead to depression and concern about your mental state, but it is part of the diversity of human beings.


How might OCD affect a student?


The stress of starting a degree course might make a students problems worse.   For some people, the difficulties begin after they arrive.  OCD is closely related to anxiety, so an OCD student may feel timid, shy and nervous.  They may also avoid stressful situations.  It should be important to try and make learning environments as stress free as possible.



At University, students may experience:


How you can help OCD student.


Other Resources on OCD