Hypnotherapy to Help with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): by Dublin based hypnotherapist Ailish McGrath


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


It’s common from time to time to go back and double-check that the house alarm is on or to check the oven is turned off. But if you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive (intrusive) thoughts and compulsive behaviors become so frequent they interfere with normal daily functioning, impact on your relationships and capacity to work and leave you feeling powerless, out of control, not ‘normal’, anxious and scared.

You are likely to be aware that the thoughts are irrational or highly unlikely to happen and know the compulsive behaviour does not really protect you from potential harm yet, you can’t seem to stop them.

But help is available. With treatment and self-help strategies, you can break free of the unwanted thoughts and irrational urges and take back control of your life.

What is Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviours you feel compelled to perform.

Obsessions are involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind. You don’t want to have these ideas but you can’t stop them. Unfortunately, these obsessive thoughts are often disturbing and distracting. They commonly take the form of a repetitive fear (e.g I’m going to die, I’m dirty, I’m going to fail), a repetitive image (e.g unwanted sexual image, car crash, death), a repetitive sound (e.g a song you can’t get out of your head) and so on.
In the case of Homosexual OCD (HOCD) the repetitive worry is about your sexual orientation. Just as some “straight” people obsess about being gay, some homosexuals (male and female) experience obsessive fears of being “straight”. At its core, Gay OCD / HOCD is primarily about the overwhelming discomfort with experiencing uncertainty about one’s sexual orientation.

Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again. Usually, compulsions are performed in an attempt to make obsessive thoughts go away. For example, if you’re afraid of contamination, you might develop a compulsion to clean. The cleaning behaviour gets more extensive as the obsessive thoughts about dirtiness escalate. The relief of doing the compulsion never lasts. In fact, the obsessive thoughts usually come back stronger. And the compulsive behaviors often end up causing anxiety themselves as they become more demanding and time-consuming.

Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) fall into one of the following categories:


  • Those afraid of contamination, dirt, germs, illness. They usually have cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.
  • Those who repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with potential risk of break-in, harm or danger.
  • Those with strong (often unconscious) feelings of guilt are afraid that if everything isn’t perfect or done just right something terrible will happen or they will be punished.
  • Those obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colors, or arrangements and will compulsively arrange, count and order things.
  • Those afraid that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don’t need or use.

    Help is available for ocd


    The underlying memories, anxiety, fear, guilt and limiting beliefs that are driving the intrusive obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors can be healed. The thoughts and behaviors can be challenge and reassessed. Habits can be re-trained. Self-help techniques can be employed.

    You can gain freedom from OCD.