Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive activity.
An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person’s mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease. A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
Impact on Study:
- Students with OCD are often ‘perfectionists’ who may spend more time on trivial matters like the aesthetics of their work rather than the quality. For example, they may worry about selecting the right format in an essay, or the right pictures during presentations, without dedicating enough time to the academic content.
- A student may carry out an action repeatedly as they believe they have not done it sufficiently or just ‘to make sure’ they carried it out in the first place.
- If student does not pursue their obsession or compulsion to a point at which they are satisfied, symptoms of anxiety and depression may ensue.
- A student’s competence to meet deadlines or the quality of their work may be impaired.