There are some mental health issues which are readily apparent and not easily disguised, but people suffering from an Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCD) have often learned to hide their compulsive behaviours.
As a result, it isn’t always easy to get treatment until things get out of control. If you, or someone you love, suffers from OCD, you may find that everything from financial to physical health is impacted along the way. This is why you should learn to recognize the signs of OCD and the ways in which it can affect your life.
A Few Disconcerting Statistics
Before going into the signs of OCD, it might help to recognise just how great a problem this is. Consider the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) states that mental health issues account for at least 10 percent of all reported disabilities. Of the top three, OCD ranks right up there with Manic Depression and Anxiety Disorders. That’s a rather startling, and little known, statistic.
Think about that for just a moment. If ten percent of the leading causes of disability are mental health issues and one of the top three is Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, that accounts for a huge portion of disability benefits being paid to sufferers of OCD. Finances are one of the biggest issues confronting the disabled, so if you are suffering from OCD, there is more you should know about how this impacts your financial health and why it’s so important to get help now.
Signs and Causes of OCD
In most cases, the signs of OCD are apparent to the sufferer and this is why most become so good at disguising them. For example, the person who isn’t able to handle money for fear of germs quickly learns to use a bank debit or credit card instead of cash and will never take a job where they have to handle money. Others need to do things in multiples, such as flushing the toilet twice or lighting a cigarette repeatedly before they smoke it. There are odd compulsions, which can be masked over time, but some are severe enough to be debilitating.
In severe cases, government assistance may be available. A question often asked when someone is unable to work full time or for an extended period of time is, “Am I eligible for Employment & Support Allowance?” Commonly referred to as ESA, this is an allowance available to total or partially disabled people who meet government qualifications. Sometimes it takes repeated applications to finally get the assistance needed, so it is recommended that you seek the assistance of trained advisers who can guide you in making an application and follow up once it has been submitted. The requirements are quite rigid, so it is imperative that you follow the rules to the letter when applying.
How OCD Interferes with Your Life and Finances
According to the OCD UK website, it is reported that sufferers of OCD lose a total of three years employment when tallied throughout their working career. They further go on to estimate that this amounts to approximately £483 per week lost in income. Over a three-year period, that adds up to over £75,000. That is quite a sizeable amount of wages lost due to OCD and why financial guidance and mental health counselling are imperative.
The unfortunate aspect of suffering from OCD is that it is seen as a mental health stigma. Sufferers are actually reluctant to seek help and advice because of the stigma attached to mental health conditions. Because of this, they lose wages and are eventually forced to get help from government assistance such as ESA if they are eligible. The loss of income can impact everything from personal relationships to loss of property for non-payment.
Getting Help Timely
Unlike many other types of mental health issues, OCD is usually easily recognised by those suffering from obsessive-compulsive behaviours. Many, as mentioned, have learned to mask the signs of OCD and so they suffer silently. These are the people most easily aided because they are the ones who recognise they have a problem. It is recommended that sufferers of OCD get mental health counselling at first opportunity, and alongside that, financial advice is in order.
People with OCD can tend to overspend on things they are obsessed with, further interfering with their financial health. If you are suffering from a compulsion to spend money, it is even more imperative that you get help and advice quickly. While suffering from a mental health issue, you may qualify for government assistance, but here again, if you aren’t under treatment, you may spend that extra money compulsively as well. The key is to get help immediately before your financial affairs spin out of control.
With so much of the population suffering from mental health issues, of which OCD is a huge percentage, there really is no stigma involved. Never be afraid to ask for help.