OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder can be a difficult thing to live with. 

A young person may engage in repetitive compulsions, that is acts of a repetitive nature that are semipurposeful.

For example checking the doors are shut repeatedly, switching electrical appliances off, cleaning their hands or areas of the house multiple times a day.

What they can find harder to speak about can be related to intrusive thoughts (often negative thoughts that they find hard to avoid or 'push away'). They may be embarrassed to talk about these.

They may also struggle with intrusive imagery (unwelcome pictures and sometimes "Movies" that 'play' in their heads).

They may have a sense of worry and distress that if they don't engage in these repetitive routines and rituals they will be responsible for harm coming to one of their friends or family.

They understand these thoughts are not rational or logical but the anxiety caused is so high they find it hard to live their life any other way.

They can spend a great deal of time and energy engaged in routines and increasingly detailed rituals. It can be very disruptive to family life as other members of the family may unintentionally become involved in order to see that the young person is happy. 

OCD can be treated once recognised and can often require a combination of medication and talking therapy. Earlier treatment can bring better outcomes. 

It is very important to differentiate OCD from other conditions. There can be a perceived overlap with the presentation of autistic spectrum disorder. In this case a young person may have repetitive and ritualistic behaviour but the treatment approach will be different.

Here is a screening tool you can use

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