Both of these are distressing conditions which those who know you less well, may never guess you are managing.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

People with OCD experience obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours.

  • Obsessions are the thoughts or images which come into our minds and which are very hard to get rid of. They are isolating and stressful.
  • Compulsions are behaviours which often need to be repeated to avoid distress from pressing thoughts or ideas.

For example, someone with an obsessive fear of germs on their hands may find themselves repeating handwashing over and over.

Treatments for OCD

Treatment for OCD often incorporates cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to build management skills and resilience, with medication –often selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which reduce the strength of the annoying symptoms.

Bipolar Disorders

There are different types of Bipolar Disorder – which produce distressing instability in people’s mood systems. Sometimes the symptoms can appear confusing at first, with some people experiencing either predominantly depression – or else a mixed profile of agitation, anxiety and depression – before the symptom pattern becomes clearer.

During “elevated” periods people can feel irritable, wakeful, not needing to eat or sleep, extra-creative or powerful, or exhilarated. Depressions can feel sudden and severe or else occur much of the time.

Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

These may include the use of mood stabilising medication to prevent extremes of mood; medicine to treat acute episodes of mania or depression; and antipsychotics where these are needed. Lifestyle treatments are very helpful and include regular exercise tailored to your own schedule. Psychology treatments help to identify triggers to episodes and promote improved stress management and the management of low-level depression.