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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Essay by   •  September 15, 2010  •  Essay  •  542 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,607 Views

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"Compulsive" and "obsessive" have become everyday words. "I'm

compulsive" is how some people describe their need for neatness, punctuality,

and shoes lined up in the closets. "He's so compulsive is shorthand for calling

someone uptight, controlling, and not much fun. "She's obsessed with him" is a

way of saying your friend is hopelessly lovesick. That is not how these words

are used to describe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD, a strange and

fascinating sickness of ritual and doubts run wild. OCD can begin suddenly and

is usually seen as a problem as soon as it starts.

Compulsives (a term for patients who mostly ritualize) and obsessives

(those who think of something over and over again) rarely have rituals or

thoughts about nuetral questions or behaviors. What are their rituals about?

There are several possible ways to list symptoms of OCD. All sources agree that

the most common preoccupations are dirt (washing, germs, touching), checking for

safety or closed spaces (closets, doors, drawers, appliances, light switches),

and thoughts, often thoughts about unacceptable violent, sexual, or crude


When the thoughts and rituals of OCD are intense, the victim's work and

home life disintigrate. Obsessions are persistent

, senseless, worrisome, and

often times, embarrassing, or frightening thoughts that repeat over and over in

the mind in an endless loop. The automatic nature of these recurant thoughts

makes them difficult for the person to ignore or restrain successfully.

The essence of a Compulsive Personality Disorder is normally found in a

restricted person, who is a perfectionist to a degree that demands that others

to submit to hisher way of doing things. A compulsive personality is also often

indecisive and excessively devoted to work to the exclusion of pleasure. When

pleasure is considered, it is something to be planned and worked for.

Pleasurable activities are usually postponed and sometimes never even enjoyed.

With severe compulsions, endless rituals dominate each day. Compulsions are

incredibly repetitive and seemingly purposeful acts that result from the

obsessions. The person performs certain acts according to certain rules or in a




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