Help with OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder features a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears that lead you to do repetitive behaviours which can interfere with daily activities and cause distress.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder which has two main elements – obsessions and compulsions.

Young people that have OCD experience repeated unwelcome thoughts, images or feelings that are distressing. These can be known as ‘obsessions’ or ‘obsessive thoughts’ and can be around themes such as violence, sexuality, disease, illness or harm.  When the obsessions happens, young people often try to take actions that will bring relief and make the obsessive thoughts go away. Sometimes these actions can be helpful but when they become very repetitive they turn into compulsions which means you start to think you have to do them or something bad will happen to you or the people around you. Some repetitive behaviours include excessive checking, cleaning, washing or repeating certain words in your head.

The compulsive habits or rituals that come with OCD can end up making us feel worse as once the ritual is finished, anxious thoughts can arise and become extreme. Some people can get trapped in a cycle of doing the same action repeatedly and are unable to stop.


If you think you might have OCD then you could try to speak to someone you trust such as a parent/carer, teacher or school nurse. They might advise you to make an appointment with your GP who can then help you get the right support. Bolton CAMHS provide assessment, support and treatment for OCD and a range of professionals can refer to them such as your GP, School Nurse or Teacher.

There are helplines available such as OCD Action which is available 9:30am – 8pm Monday to Friday on 0300 636 5478 or by emailing the youth e-helpline on No Panic also supports people struggling with OCD and can also provide support and information to your parents and carers too. The Youth Helpline is available 10am – 10am every day on 0330 606 1174 or you can email


Articles & Guides

OCD – A guide for young people

Young Minds have produced a helpful guide to find out more about OCD and what to do if you’re affected by it

OCD Action Resources

OCD Action is the largest OCD Charity that has a range of resources for anyone with OCD

No Panic Youth Hub

No Panic provide information and helplines for young people struggling with OCD


OCD-UK young ambassadors

OCD-UK young ambassadors answer questions on OCD to help raise awareness about the disorder


OCD UK have produced a great guide for young people

OCD Action have produced a guide about how to talk about OCD to friends, partners or family members

OCD Action have produced a 2 page guide to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Local information about services available to support your mental health