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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Hi Sam... ​ So recently I’ve been really struggling with my OCD. I’ve been washing my hands about 20 times everytime i possibly can, my hands are cracking and bleeding, I have to count everything 7 times or else i sort of break down, i have to clean everything then reclean then reclean again, i keep getting stuck in loops and i don’t know what to do. do you have any way of stopping these cycles? ​ thanks

Ask Sam


Hi there,

OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is a mental health problem that affects almost 750,000 people in the UK. It can have a big impact on your life as you spend a lot of time doing the same thing over and over and getting stressed and upset lots of times over the day. There’s support available for you if you have OCD and it’s important not to try and cope on your own.

OCD is something that you might hear people joke about having. Or diagnosing themselves with it when they don't have the symptoms. For example, someone who likes things to be neat might say they are "OCD" about being neat -  this is different to actually having OCD. Usually having OCD means someone finds it difficult to function if they don't do or say certain things in a very specific way. It can be paralysing and is a serious mental health condition.

The symptoms you’re describing - washing your hands until they bleed, counting everything a specific number of times and cleaning things multiple times – are common signs of OCD. They can have a huge effect on your day to day life - especially your social life and being able to relax. Having OCD in the way you do can mean you feel anxious and on edge most of the time.

It can be difficult to cope with this on your own so I suggest getting some support. OCD Action is a charity that gives specific advice and support for people with OCD. You can talk to them on the phone or by email. And they can put you in touch with local support groups. Your GP might also be able to arrange for other help if you make an appointment to see them.

If you're ever feeling stressed and need to talk, Childline is here for you - our counsellors can talk to you anytime you need.

Thank you for sharing this with me, I hope it's helped.

Take care.


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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