In the light of all the attention recently focused on OCD it easy to assume this is a new problem, but it has always been with us. Not so long ago people with OCD would be described as eccentric, but today the nature of the problem is better understood. The compulsive thoughts and actions that characterize OCD sufferers might only marginally impact their lives, or they could cause major problems in study, work, family life and other relationships. Where this person’s OCD only expresses itself in thoughts those around them remain unaware of the problem. Thankfully today medical and psychological help is more readily available.

1. A passion for cleanliness

Washing the hands after leaving the bathroom or before eating are sensible hygiene precautions that everyone should take but what happens if OCD takes control? It can drive a person to wash their hands repeatedly to satisfy the demon in their mind that tells them maybe they have still not got rid of all those threatening germs. This OCD passion for cleanliness can take many different forms, For example, as well as hand washing it may drive this person to wash cutlery and dishes or clean the floor repeatedly. They usually realize there is no rationale for repeating these actions but convince themselves “just to be on the safe side…”