OCD research study invites participants in Johannesburg to join

Anthropology researcher, Janine Blignaut.

According to Janine Blignaut, who is researching the experience of living with Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the mental disorder is more common than many realise.

In South Africa, there is no specific research exploring the numbers in the country, but Blignaut said research elsewhere in the world suggests that 2-3 per cent of the population will experience OCD at some point in life.

Read: 5 things people with hidden depression do

According to Blignaut, obsessions and compulsions often centre around four themes including, fears of contamination, responsibility for harm or mistakes, concerns about incompleteness or symmetry and taboo thoughts.

This means that the obsessions and compulsions of OCD can manifest very differently among those experiencing the disorder.

She said that very often individuals find that they have obsessions and compulsions that cover a wide or mixed range of themes.

Regardless of their nature, Blignaut said these obsessions and compulsions are experienced as unpleasant and unwanted adding that extreme and recurring doubt can also be a common feature of OCD.

“OCD can be very difficult to live with and is often a secretive disorder and many people worry about telling others about their obsessions and compulsions because they know their thoughts and behaviours don’t fully make sense.

“There isn’t a lot of research in South Africa exploring what the experience of living with OCD is like,” she said.


Blignaut is currently looking for study participants, as she is interested in furthering her research, and she said people who are interested are welcome to enquire about joining her research. Hers is a small, in-depth study in which participants will confidentially share their thoughts and experiences of living with OCD.

The study is open to all individuals from 18 years and older who identify as having OCD.

Details: janineblignaut@outlook.com or 078 408 2524.

The study does not include treatment. You can follow the Sadag link above for their contact details, to call them for a referral to a mental health professional, if you looking for treatment.

Edited by Stacey Woensdregt

Read: Sadag dispels misconceptions around OCD


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