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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Imagine if you couldn't get your job done because throughout your shift you had to continuously wash your hands. To many people this would be an easy problem but not if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Several little thoughts or rituals irritate a person with OCD daily. There are many factors, symptoms, and treatments regarding OCD.

OCD is known as one of the anxieties disorders (geocities). It can be a crippling condition that can persist throughout a person's life (geocities). Someone who suffers from OCD can become trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviors that are senseless and distressing but very difficult to overcome (geocities). OCD is linked to a kind of "short-circuit" in the way the brain processes worry thoughts (kids health). People with OCD have obsessions and compulsions.

Obsession is defined as a compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or unwanted emotion (American Heritage). "Obsessions lead to anxiety (kids health)." To relieve their anxiety people will perform compulsions. Compulsion is defined as an irresistible impulse to act (American Heritage). An example of this would be someone who feels dirty may wash their hands 100 times a day (kids health). "In the United States, more than one million children this disorder (kids health).

No one knows for sure exactly what causes OCD (kids health). However, OCD and related disorders do run in families (kids health). Scientists have not found what is passed on to make a person more prone to have OCD (kids health). Scientists believe it could be a communication problem with the front of the brain and other parts that use neurotransmitters (kids health). Though the cause is not known there are numerous symptoms for OCD.

OCD symptoms normally will start to show during teenage years or early adulthood (geocities). The person will start to continuously experience disturbing thoughts such as: "My hands are contaminated, I must wash them;" "I may have left the gas on;" or "I am going to injure my child" (geocities). "These thoughts are intrusive, unpleasant, and produce a high degree of anxiety" (geocities). The most common compulsions are washing and checking (geocities).

Dr. Ian Osborne tells an account of a man who had fears that his hands were infected (11). This man repeatedly washed and scrubbed his hands until they bled (Osborne 11). Dr. Osborne also notes a college female who couldn't stop bombarding herself with questions (23). To ease these compulsions one may perform rituals (geocities). Rituals are only temporary relief from the anxiety (geocities). Some rituals may include: constant counting, touching, checking things over and over, having to do things a certain number of times, or collecting or saving useless things (kids health). There are different kinds of people with OCD.

"Insight people with OCD show a range of insight into the senselessness of their obsessions" (geocities). At times insight people can tell whether their obsessions are real or not (geocities). Resistance most people with OCD have a hard time banishing their unwanted, obsessive thoughts and preventing them from engaging in compulsive behaviors (geocities). Some are able to control their symptoms while at work or attending school, but over time their strength may weaken, and they will not be able to function in activities outside of the home. (geocities). Shame and secrecy sufferers try to hide their disorder instead of seeking help (geocities). The problem with secrecy is that they do not get professional help until late and then they learn to live their lives around the rituals (geocities). Long-lasting symptoms OCD normally lasts for years, even decades (geocities). The symptoms may seem to fade for long intervals, but for most the symptoms are chronic (geocities). With a lot of the symptoms, it is important to get treatment.

Treatment of OCD can vary from patient to patient. A patient could benefit from behavior therapy or pharmacotherapy (geocities). Some patients will use both, while some will begin medication and then move onto behavior therapy (geocities). Trials have shown that drugs that affect the neurotransmitter serotinin can reduce the symptoms of OCD (geocities). There have been several drugs used in the treatment of OCD. They are all grouped under serotinin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) (geocities). It normally takes



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