Mental Illness and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

By Julie Le Franc – Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Psychologist



      As family, work, leisure, information, technology and pressures of life escalate we can be vulnerable to a time of anxiety.  General anxiety disorder is the typical worrier.  We can all experience anxiety features when we are subject to intense or prolonged stress.

In obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety is recurrent, with intrusive thoughts and associated ritualistic behaviour.  The disorder is characterised by either obsessions or compulsions or, more commonly, both.

The obsessive-compulsive character can be described as meticulously concerned with doing things right, can be insecure about details, persistent, unforgiving, scrupulously prompt and retentive and can have a concern with control and cleanliness.

I have been seeing a young school girl whose obsessional traits have become so overdeveloped that she had become a slave to minor rules and details about cleanliness.  It began when she became highly stressed at school and her particular circumstances threw her psychologically off balance.

As a therapist it is important to try to understand whether the persons’ suffering is coming from an immediate stimulus to unconscious, conflicted experiences or a kind of arrested psychological development.  Whilst obsessional traits are not all bad, when they become intrusive and disruptive of everyday life then we use the diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder.


For further information, contact Julie Le Franc on 0407 385 005