Mental Wellness Spotlight on Disease

Dealing with OCD: Symptoms, Treatments and Financing Options

byChloe Elizabeth Tang
  • Sep 27, 2023
  • 7 mins
woman sorting out paper clips ocd

Navigating life with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in Singapore isn't without its unique set of challenges. Understanding what causes OCD and recognising the signs of OCD early can be pivotal for effective intervention. 

This article dives into the intricate facets of OCD, from its distinctive symptoms to the multifaceted treatment options available. Highlighting both the daily adversities faced by those with the disorder and the salient role that insurance plays in alleviating financial concerns related to OCD treatment, our goal is to offer a comprehensive guide to managing OCD in Singapore.

OCD, a prevalent mental health condition in Singapore, can be deeply puzzling for those unfamiliar with its intricacies. At its core, OCD is defined by persistent, unwanted thoughts and repetitive actions or rituals that one feels compelled to perform. These distinct symptoms are pivotal in understanding the disorder.

While we often ponder over what causes OCD, recognising the signs of OCD is the first step towards effective treatment. Various forms of this disorder manifest in individuals, and we'll delve into some of the most predominant ones in the subsequent sections.

Contamination OCD

In the realm of OCD, contamination OCD stands out as one particularly distressing subtype. Those grappling with this form of OCD in Singapore often face an intense and persistent dread of contamination. Rooted in deep-seated fears, these individuals might agonise over germs, pollutants, or hazardous substances.

Such fears typically manifest in discernible symptoms, including an amplified urge to engage in rituals like prolonged washing, meticulous cleaning, or even sidestepping specific locales and items. Recognising these signs of OCD is paramount in seeking timely and apt treatment to mitigate the distress they experience.

Checking OCD

A common manifestation of OCD is the checking OCD subtype, notably prevalent among many facing OCD in Singapore. Characterised by a prevailing apprehension of potential harm to oneself or others, individuals exhibit certain symptoms like perpetually revisiting actions to ensure their safety.

For instance, they might incessantly verify if the stove is extinguished or recheck door locks multiple times. These recurring checks, more than a simple forgetfulness, are deep-rooted signs of OCD and indicate an underlying fear often beyond immediate control. Identifying these patterns early is essential for effective treatment.

Symmetry OCD

Among the diverse range of OCD subtypes, symmetry OCD emerges prominently in the spectrum. Rooted in the profound desire for precision, this form of OCD sees individuals yearning for a sense of balance and perfection in their surroundings. It's not just about aligning objects; it's an inherent need for things to feel "just right."

The subtle signs of OCD in this context include meticulously arranging items to achieve perfect alignment, revisiting tasks numerous times until they resonate with an inner sense of order, or adhering to a specific count when performing actions. Understanding these behaviours is crucial to ensuring those affected receive the treatment and support they need.

Individuals with OCD often grapple with a myriad of challenges that significantly impact their daily lives. Below are some obstacles they may face in managing their symptoms:

Disruption of Daily Routines

The need to perform compulsions can frequently interrupt everyday tasks. For instance, someone with contamination OCD might take exceptionally long showers or repeatedly wash their hands, causing delays in their morning routine or making them late for work or other commitments.

Implementing structured schedules can help. Breaking tasks into smaller steps and setting specific time slots for each can create predictability. If an individual knows they tend to wash their hands for prolonged periods, they can allocate a realistic timeframe for it within their daily schedule, thus reducing disruptions.

Social Isolation

Due to the stigma surrounding mental health and the fear of being judged, many individuals with OCD might withdraw from social situations. Their compulsions or fears might also make them avoid certain social settings, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Joining support groups, either in person or online, can be beneficial. Here, individuals can interact with others who experience similar challenges, creating a sense of community and understanding. Educating close friends and family about OCD can also pave the way for more supportive interactions.

Increased Stress and Anxiety

Managing the intrusive thoughts and feeling compelled to act on them can be mentally exhausting for individuals with OCD. This constant cycle can lead to heightened levels of stress and anxiety, further exacerbating the condition.

Mindfulness practices and relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep-breathing exercises, can help manage and reduce anxiety. Regular physical activity, even short daily walks, can also alleviate stress and act as a mood booster.

Strain on Relationships

Loved ones might struggle to understand the challenges and needs of someone with OCD. The person with OCD might become frustrated if they feel misunderstood or if others downplay their symptoms. This can lead to tension and strain in familial and romantic relationships.

Open communication is vital. Sharing information, resources, or even attending therapy sessions together can foster understanding. Couples or family therapy can also offer tailored strategies to strengthen relationships and improve communication dynamics.

Workplace Challenges

Meeting deadlines, attending meetings, or even just interacting in a communal space can become problematic for those with OCD. The need to perform compulsions or the distraction of intrusive thoughts can reduce productivity and may lead to misunderstandings with colleagues or superiors.

If comfortable, disclosing the condition to a trusted supervisor or HR representative can lead to accommodations that make the work environment more supportive. Additionally, taking regular short breaks to refocus, practising grounding exercises during heightened moments of anxiety, or utilising tools like task lists to streamline work can be beneficial.


Recognising the signs of OCD is just the starting point; understanding the root causes of OCD and determining its severity requires expertise. In Singapore, the process of accurately diagnosing OCD mandates an in-depth evaluation by a licensed mental health specialist.

This assessment not only focuses on the evident symptoms but also delves into identifying underlying triggers. While it's tempting to self-diagnose based on readily available and accessible online information, it's vital to seek expert guidance.

Professional diagnosis ensures that one receives the most appropriate treatment tailored to individual needs, offering a clearer path towards managing the disorder.

When addressing symptoms of OCD, especially within the context of Singapore, it becomes paramount to understand the comprehensive treatment avenues available. Here are the two main treatments designed to cater to individual needs:


At the forefront of OCD treatment is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This proven and structured approach delves deep into the complex relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. By understanding and challenging these patterns, individuals are better equipped to break the relentless and repetitive cycles of obsessions and compulsions, paving the way for healthier coping mechanisms.


Beyond therapeutic interventions, medication can play a significant role in treating OCD, especially for those with pronounced or persistent symptoms. Prescribed by medical professionals after thorough assessments, these medicines work by regulating brain chemistry, offering relief from the often-debilitating symptoms. When combined with therapy, medication provides a holistic and potent approach to managing and reducing the impact of OCD.

In Singapore, addressing the symptoms of OCD doesn’t just stop at recognising the clinical signs; it extends to understanding the financial dynamics surrounding the treatment. Engaging in therapy, obtaining crucial medications, and accessing supportive services can be associated with significant expenses. Fortunately, several financing options cater specifically to easing this financial responsibility, ensuring that the OCD treatment journey remains uninterrupted and effective.

Financial Assistance Programmes

For those seeking additional support, there are other alternatives, like affordable counselling services, free helplines, and online counselling platforms. For instance, organisations such as Silver Ribbon and Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) offer free counselling, acting as a supportive bridge for many who grapple with what causes OCD and its ramifications on daily life.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance remains an instrumental part of the broader strategy to manage the costs associated with OCD. Income's Star Secure Pro, a comprehensive whole life insurance policy, not only offers protection1 against death, total and permanent disability, as well as terminal illness, but it also emphasises the significance of financial coverage for mental health challenges2 like OCD with the addition of its Early Life Accelerator rider.

It's vital to note that the coverage2 provided by Star Secure Pro comes into play if the diagnosis occurs after the purchase of the plan, alongside its rider add-on. This ensures that the unpredictability of mental health challenges doesn’t translate to financial unpredictability. Having Star Secure Pro and the Early Life Accelerator rider means that the payout can be used to access necessary medical services and acts as a financial cushion, aiding individuals with OCD in Singapore to manage treatment costs more effectively.

In conclusion, while the journey of understanding and managing OCD might be complex, financial considerations needn't be. With the right strategy in place – comprising financial assistance and insurance policies – the path to wellness becomes clearer and more achievable.

hand holding

Being well-informed and resourceful empowers individuals with OCD to navigate their challenges and lead balanced, fulfilling lives. Financial safeguards, such as those provided by Income’s Star Secure Pro, along with its Early Life Accelerator rider, offer a financial safety net in the event you are diagnosed with a mental health condition2 like OCD down the road. With this whole life insurance plan and its rider providing a payout that can be used for essential OCD treatment, individuals can prioritise their mental health without the added financial stress.

Chloe is a writer fuelled by a fervent desire to enlighten readers on a myriad of subjects. From the enchanting realms of travel to the intricacies of health and wellness, Chloe crafts engaging and informative articles that impart valuable insights and practical guidance.

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