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OCD in Varsity: Why Now?

People joke about OCD all the time, especially when referring to people who are perfectionists or who like things done a particular way.

However, the truth is that OCD is not a lot of fun for those who suffer from it. And especially so when it starts to manifest in university.

What should we know about OCD and how can we deal with it?

What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition with a neurobiological basis. This means that it’s less of an emotional-based psychological issue and more of a physiological one.

OCD affects people in two ways:

  1. They have recurring obsessive thoughts, feelings, or urges that won’t go away.
  2. They feel compelled to act out certain repetitive compulsions.

OCD affects one in 40 adults, which means that you’re not alone, even though you may feel like it sometimes.

Why Now?

You may have spent your entire childhood with mild symptoms of OCD. Perhaps you had a fear of dirt or germs or a compelling need for order and precision. But since you’ve entered university you’ve suddenly found yourself in a full-blown OCD state. What’s that all about?

OCD can manifest itself at any time but particularly so in times of stress.

College is stressful, there’s no doubt about that. In fact, it’s not unusual to show full OCD symptoms for the first time upon starting university.

What can you do about this?

You’ll be relieved to know that OCD can be treated, and while it may never go away completely it can be managed. The best treatment available is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

CBT is defined as follows:

“Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. CBT focuses on challenging and changing cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems.”

This, sometimes alongside medication, has an 85% success rate in providing relief from the symptoms of OCD.

So, if you’ve entered university only to find these hidden challenges raise their head, then rest assured that you can overcome OCD with the right therapy. And you’re not crazy!