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Psychological Issues: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Essay


Abstract

Obsessive compulsive disorder refers to a sickness where the patient demonstrates fear and emotions repetitively. In some cases, sufferers understand that their worries are unrealistic. Some of the signs of OCD include harboring negative thoughts and being hostile. In most cases, the problem starts when one is still infantile. There have not been apparent symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Some of the treatment methods used to cure OCD includes cognitive behavioral therapy, use of drugs and psychosurgery. Medical practitioners chose the appropriate method based on the nature of the problem. Doctors encourage people to eat a balanced diet since it helps in brain development and shuns cases of one suffering from mental problems. Additionally, parents are encouraged to monitor their children’s behavior and help them to face their worries and anxieties.

Introduction

Abramowitz describes obsessive compulsive disorder as “characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions)” (2009, p. 56). One can still exhibit fears or repetitive behavior and suffer from the disorder. At times, one can figure out that his fears or behaviors are unrealistic. The sad thing is that such a revelation only makes the matters worse. Eventually, one feels the urge to do gripping acts as a way to relieve anxiety.

Some of the signs of this disorder include intense hoarding, excessive engagement in sexual activities, harboring vicious thoughts, and taking most of your time washing (Abramowitz, 2009). These behaviors are disturbing and may lead to the victim leading a solitary life. Besides, they compromise the psychological and emotional wellbeing of an individual.

Obsessive compulsive disorder affects about 3% of the adults and children worldwide. Additionally, the disease affects both genders. At least 80% of the victims exhibit the signs of the disease before they are eighteen years old. A study conducted in Canada revealed that the disorder affects all people regardless of their race or religion. Nevertheless, the study showed that the majority of the correspondents who suffered from the disease were Judaism (Abramowitz, 2009).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder History

In 16th century, the Europeans believed “that people who experienced blasphemous, sexual, or other obsessive thoughts were possessed by the devil” (Berrios, 1985, p.168). Consequently, they used to perform rituals for people suffering from obsession as a way to get rid of the demons. Sigmund Freud links fanatical gripping behavior with insensible differences that manifest as signs. He gives an account of a medical record of a classic case that he calls “touching phobia” as beginning when one is still young (Berrios, 1985).

He argues that children have a strong urge for touching everything they meet. With time, they develop mechanisms against the habit. Nevertheless, the mechanisms do not thrive in eliminating the urge to move things. Instead, they hold back the urge sending it to the subconscious mind (Berrios, 1985). The urge is reawakened when such a person is mentally disturbed.

Obsessive compulsive disorder comes as a result of a combination of genetic and mental factors (Berrios, 1985). The disorder does not have an age limit, and it can affect both the adults and children. In many cases, adults who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorders report that the problem started when they were young, implying the scale of the problem throughout the lifetime. Children suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder due to mental anxiety and brain deformity.

Nonetheless, a child may get the disease due to a tragic family demise, domestic violence and harassment (Chen & Dilsaver, 1995). Understanding these factors may be of great significance when coming up with ways to assist the child. Chen and Dilsaver (1995) assert, “It has traditionally been considered that there are four main categories of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)” (p. 62).

In spite of each group showing a number of sicknesses, naturally, an individual’s disease falls in one of the groups, which are hoarding, scrutiny, disturbing thoughts and psychological contagion. Many victims suffering from OCD consider it their duty to ensure that they circumvent all dangers. Besides, they believe that risks are inevitable. These feelings make the victims to exhibit compulsive behavior that they perceive necessary to overcome the inevitable dangers (Chen & Dilsaver, 1995).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Davis alleges, “To some degree OCD-type symptoms are probably experienced, at one time or another, by most people, especially in times of stress where….and often unrelated behavior pattern” (2008, p. 39). Nonetheless, full-blown obsessive compulsive disorder may have entirely destructive effects on an individual’s life. The effects may range from career development to social life.

The only way to tell if a person is suffering from OCD or stress is to monitor one’s daily activities. If a person gets obsessed with some funny actions, which occupies most of his or her time or affects his daily normal activities, then the person can be declared to suffer from the disorder (Davis, 2008).

Obsessive compulsive disorder often goes for long time unnoticed because both the medical practitioners and victims are unfamiliar with the symptoms. Moreover, individuals suffering from the disorder refrain from visiting hospitals in fear of humiliation and guilt attributed to the disease (Davis, 2008). Failure to detect the problem at early stage delays treatment and alleviate suffering of the individuals affected. The worries and feelings linked with OCD can be genuinely appalling to both victims and non-victims.

People ought to know that the worries are mere sentiments, and not whims or desires that need to be addressed. For some of those suffering from OCD, their rational intellect is never interrupted in spite of them being unable to manage their disorder (Davis, 2008).

Many sufferers know that their feelings and actions are absurd and crazy, but they cannot avoid them since they believe that not engaging in such action might hurt their loved ones. People with OCD find that they are obliged to stopping catastrophes from happening to people that are dear to them.

Obsessive compulsive disorder can also be unpredictable. While many of the victims show consistent symptoms, others keep on showing varying signs. Moreover, some people suffer from lapses of OCD (Grant, 2014). The disease keeps on appearing and disappearing, which makes it hard for treatment. Grant alleges, “Doubt is another characteristic of the OCD sufferer.

The French calls the disorder ‘the doubting disease’” (2014, p. 649). He posits that the doubt is a major sensation that nourishes most fanatical and gripping behavior. Many sufferers are unable to cope with insecurity and suspicion, thus leading a life full of lies.

Obsessive compulsive disorder has cure, and if properly managed, a person can recover completely from the disease. The disease is certainly persistent, but also very curable health condition. One of the methods used to treat OCD is cognitive behavioral therapy (Grant, 2014). The process entails addressing existing fears and urges that a victim exhibits.

The victim is taken through his fears and helped to come up with an alternative line of thought. Moreover, cognitive behavioral therapy helps a victim to face his worries and understand the realities. The treatment has proved to be effective in addressing the disorder.

“As a person with some types of diabetes can learn to manage the disease by changing their diet and exercise habits, a person with OCD can learn to manage symptoms so that they do not interfere with daily functioning” (Grant, 2014, p. 652). Cognitive behavioral therapy equips the patients with measures to control their thoughts and behavior. In due course, the patient recovers completely from the disease if he or she keeps to the prescribed remedies.

Medical practitioners are working around the clock to come up with definite information concerning the causes, symptoms and treatment modes of obsessive compulsive disorder. There is light at the end of the tunnel because the practitioners have already started improving on their treatment approaches. Doctors can now prescribe drugs to patients suffering from OCD (Grant, 2014). Nonetheless, prescription ought to be done with a lot of care as some of the drugs like Benzodiazepines have proved ineffective.

Koran claims “atypical antipsychotics such as quetiapine have also been found to be useful when used in addition to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in treating resistant OCDs” (2007, p. 14). However, medical staff needs to exercise maximum caution when administering these drugs because they have severe side effects.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication do not work for some patients. Consequently, the patients end up undergoing psychosurgery. This form of treatment entails making a surgical cut near the brain. In the United States, over 30% of victims suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder undergo this treatment (Koran, 2007).

However, the procedure is carried out after all the other treatment methods prove futile. Similarly, the method is applied in the United Kingdom, but after trying all the other treatment methods available. The surgery does not interfere with one’s brain. Young children and adolescents suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder do not require undergoing medical treatment or psychosurgery. These groups of patients can easily recover if taken through proper therapeutic procedures (Koran, 2007).

According to Mash and Wolfe (2005), family participation can play a critical role in helping adolescents and young children to recover from OCD. They argue that, family members can assist the victims to overcome compulsive disorder by helping them to nurture the right behavior.

Family members can help the affected children to identify and understand the temperament of their obsession, and work towards avoiding those obsessions (Mash & Wolfe, 2005). The endeavor would help the affected child to interact with friends, therefore abandoning his or her obsessive behavior gradually.

Research is underway to come up with other methods of treating obsessive compulsive disorder (Mash & Wolfe, 2005). Some medical staff has suggested that inositol (natural sugar) can cure OCD. Besides, they advise people to make sure that they eat a balanced diet as nutrition dearth is one of the leading causes of the problem.

Individuals suffering from the disorder are encouraged to take mineral supplements and vitamins since they help in brain functioning. There are high hopes that medical professionals will come up with a lasting solution to this disorder in the near future.

The study of obsessive compulsive disorder has affected me significantly. After learning the symptoms and prevalence rate of the disease, I have realized that I have been overlooking many things in my life. Many times, I see people with queer characters but associate them to their upbringing. From the study, I have learned that people may be suffering from OCD without their knowledge. Consequently, I will take it as my obligation to enlighten others on the disorder and work closely with individuals that I find to exhibit funny traits.

In this way, I will help them to cope with their obsessive behaviors and mitigate suffering. I have been having the practice of counting my money time and again. At times, I feel like I have not counted the money correctly, or some might be missing. I always treat this as a routine habit and not an obsession. However, after studying this topic, I have realized that I might be suffering from compulsive disorder without knowing. I now intend to embark on looking for ways to cope with this obsession before it degenerates into a bigger problem.

Conclusion

Obsessive compulsive disorder refers to an illness where the patient exhibits fear and emotions repetitively. In some cases, sufferers understand that their worries are unrealistic (Mineka, Watson, & Clark, 1998). However, they do not have ways of overcoming the fears. Some of the signs of OCD include harboring negative thoughts and being hostile. The disorder emanates from both genetic and mental factors, and it affects all people regardless of their age, gender or race. In many cases, the problem starts when one is still young.

Some people argue that everybody experiences obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms at one point in lifetime. However, the severity of the symptoms differs. Victims of OCD believe that dangers are inevitable, and they devise repetitive behaviors aimed at combating the threats. There have not been apparent symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. Therefore, a person suffering from this problem may go for a long time without being detected.

The good news is that the disease has a cure, and the patient can recover if treated properly. Some of the treatment methods used to cure OCD includes cognitive behavioral therapy, use of drugs and psychosurgery (Mineka, Watson, & Clark, 1998). Medical practitioners chose the appropriate method based on the nature of the problem.

However, they result to psychosurgery after all the other methods fail to work. Doctors encourage people to eat a balanced diet since it helps in brain development and shuns cases of one suffering from mental problems. Additionally, parents are encouraged to monitor their children’s behavior and help them to face their worries and anxieties. The ability to detect the disorder at an early age can assist in combating the disease. Research is still ongoing to come up with a lasting solution to this problem.

Reference List

Abramowitz, J. (2009). Getting over OCD: A 10 step workbook for taking back your life. New York: Guilford Press.

Berrios, G. (1985.). Obsessional disorders: a conceptual history, terminological and classificatory issues. The Anatomy of Madness, 1(1), 166-187.

Chen, Y., & Dilsaver, S. (1995). Comorbidity for obsessive-compulsive disorder in bipolar and unipolar disorders. Psychiatry Research, 59(2), 57-64.

Davis, L. (2008). Obsession: A History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Grant, J. (2014). Clinical practice: Obsessive-compulsive disorder. The New England Journal of Medicine, 371(7), 646-653.

Koran, L. (2007). Obsessive-compulsive disorder: an update for the clinician. Focus, 1(5), 12-23.

Mash, J., & Wolfe, D. (2005). Abnormal child psychology. , CA: .

Mineka, S., Watson, D., & Clark, L. (1998). Comorbidity of anxiety and unipolar mood disorders. Annual review of psychology, 49(1), 377-412.

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