What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition where people experience unwanted, intrusive and unpleasant thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours.

Obsessive thoughts are repeated and unpleasant intrusive thoughts, images or urges that pop into our mind involuntarily. Everyone experiences intrusive thoughts, but people with OCD can become preoccupied with and by these thoughts.

Compulsions are the things we do to try and stop obsessive thoughts from coming true. These compulsions are often repeated many times and can take several hours each day. Common examples of compulsions include checking (e.g. checking doors, electrical equipment) and cleaning (e.g. hand washing).

To read more about different types of OCD you can click here

What is the OCD Clinic?

Around one million people in the UK live with some form of OCD. Fortunately, there are well-established and effective ways of helping.

Our OCD Clinic is for adults experiencing difficulties with OCD, whether the problem is mild or very severe. We offer high quality evidence-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) as recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Our OCD Clinic is based in our primary care wellbeing services in East Sussex (Health in Mind) and in Brighton and Hove (Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service). The clinic is not currently available elsewhere in Sussex.


How do I refer or get referred to the OCD Clinic?

If you are experiencing OCD difficulties and would like help you can refer to our OCD Clinic.

Health in Mind is our service for people living in East Sussex. If you live in East Sussex you can ask to be referred to our OCD Clinic when you make contact via www.healthinmind.org.uk/contact


Our sister service is based in Brighton and Hove. If you live in Brighton and Hove you can call 03000 020 060 and ask to be referred to our OCD Clinic there or you can complete a self-referral online at www.brightonandhovewellbeing.org  


“I am concerned about someone I know with OCD”


If you are concerned about someone you think might be struggling with OCD please show them a copy of this leaflet and encourage them to speak to their GP or to contact us using the details shown above.


“I am a GP and would like to refer someone to the OCD Clinic”


Currently the OCD Clinic is available in Health in Mind in East Sussex, in the Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service and in the Assessment and Treatment Service in Brighton and Hove, although we hope to expand the areas we serve. For adults living in East Sussex or in Brighton and Hove please make a referral directly to Health in Mind or to the Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service in the usual way, but specifying that you want the person referred to the OCD Clinic.


What will happen at the OCD Clinic?

When you are referred to the clinic we will offer you an assessment meeting with an expert clinician. At your assessment meeting we will discuss your difficulties with OCD and we will agree the best treatment plan together.


Theresa, who completed the 12-week course, praised it as ‘amazing’: 

“When somebody first suggested the course, I thought there is no way I am going into a room with people I don’t know to discuss my OCD, but deep down I knew I had to.”


“I first realised I had OCD at the age of 17 after I gave birth to my first daughter. I had intrusive thoughts initially and kept thinking that something terrible was going to happen to someone in my family. Then I started to perform rituals every 15-20 minutes like washing things over and over again, touching things and going in and out of rooms. It was taking up my whole day and took over my life.”


“OCD can be an embarrassing subject to talk about because it can be quite extreme and you spend most of your time trying to hide it. But for anyone afraid of seeking help I would say you should see your GP. OCD can take over your life so don’t suffer in silence. I had it for 25 years and I thought it would never go, but now I am on top of it.”


Deborah also found that her time at the clinic reduced the levels of her OCD difficulties, having suffered with intrusive thoughts and constantly checking windows and doors for nearly 30 years:

“I first spoke to my doctor about my OCD and was given many different treatments, but nothing ever really clicked with me: I still kept feeling really anxious.”

“The help I have received at the clinic has made a massive difference. It has really made me understand what OCD is about, and to be able to meet people that are going through the same thing as me has been life changing. OCD takes over your life and you can’t really function properly, but there is help out there. There is hope.”


Contact Information

You can visit the OCD Clinic main website here: www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/OCDclinic