Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition that can affect children and young people. A person with OCD feels they have to perform certain rituals or repetitive behaviours. These are known as compulsions to get rid of unwanted thoughts, images or urges that keep entering their mind, which are known as obsessions. 

Someone with OCD may develop an obsessive thought, for example they may believe that something terrible is going to happen to them or their family. To get rid of this thought, they might perform compulsions, including: 

  • excessive handwashing
  • checking something over and over again
  • excessive cleaning
  • counting or repeating words
  • excessive praying

OCD can be distressing. The obsessions and compulsions are time-consuming and can stop you carrying on with your daily activities. You will likely feel a need to control your thoughts and feel that the only way of coping with them is by repeating the compulsive behaviour.