Ocd Essay, Research Paper
I have always been fascinated with behavioral disorders, especially OCD. I learned about OCD a few years ago when I was reading a medical journal. At first, it seemed like something very odd. The idea that otherwise normal people can do such strange things, and not be able to control themselves was fascinating. I wanted to know more about this topic, which is why I chose to write my paper on it. I thought that by knowing more about the subject, I will be able to better understand how these people’s lives can be literally taken over by their constant worries and anxiety. Also, I think a lot of people exhibit these behaviors and aren’t even aware that they may have a severe problem, and more importantly, that they can be getting help to control these obsessions and compulsions. I also know that I have a lot of habits that could possibly be considered obsessive, and by writing this paper, I may have a better understanding of my own behaviors, and the ability to distinguish between a habit, and an obsession.
Most importantly, however, thought it would be interesting to write a paper on something I did not already know that much about so that it would keep my interest.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined as an anxiety disorder where a person has recurrent unwanted ideas or impulses (called obsessions) and an urge or compulsion to do something to relieve the discomfort caused by the obsession (Mental Health Network, 2000). The obsessive thought range from the idea of losing control, to themes surrounding religion or keeping things or parts of one’s body clean all the time. Compulsions are behaviors that help reduce the anxiety surrounding the obsessions. 90% of the people who have OCD have both obsessions and compulsions. The thoughts and behaviors a person with OCD has are senseless, repetitive, distressing, and sometimes harmful, but they are also difficult to overcome.
Some examples of common obsessions of OCD sufferers are fears of germ contamination, imagining having harmed self or others, imagining losing control of aggressive urges, sexual thoughts or urges, excessive religious or moral doubt, etc. As stated before, most cases of OCD have compulsions to satisfy their obsessions, or urges. Some of
the compulsions for these urges are, excessive washing, repeating tasks, touching, counting, praying, etc. Some sufferers have been known to wash their hands fir hours at a time, or to turn their stove off dozens of times, when it was never on in the first place, all because of the obsession in their mind imagining and fearing that the house would burn down.
Worries, doubts, superstitious beliefs- all are common worries of everyday life. However, when they become excessive, or make no sense at all, then a diagnosis is made. In OCD, it is as though the brain gets stuck on a particular thought or urge and just can’t let go, no matter how hard they may try. OCD is a medical brain disorder that causes problems in information processing (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation [OCD Foundation], 2000).
Many patients believe that they somehow caused themselves to have these compulsive behaviors and obsessive thoughts. According to Neziraglu (1999), this is completely untrue; OCD is likely caused by a number of intertwined and complex factors which include genetics, biology, personality development, and how a person learns to react to
the environment around them. Also the OCD foundation (2000), says that even though no specific genes for OCD have been identified, research suggests that genes do play a role in the development of the disorder in some cases. Childhood-onset OCD tends to run in families. When a parent has OCD, there is a slightly increased risk that a child will develop OCD. While OCD runs in families, it is the general nature of OCD that seems to be inherited, not any specific symptoms.
There is no single, proven cause of OCD. However, research suggests that OCD involves problems in communication between the orbital cortex and the basal ganglia (Wood & Wood, 1999). These brain structures use the chemical messenger serotonin. It is believed that insufficient levels of serotonin are involved in OCD. Even though it is clear that serotonin levels play a role in OCD, there is no laboratory test for the diagnosis of OCD. Rather, the diagnosis is made based on an assessment of the person’s symptoms. One such test from the OCD Foundation is the Florida Obsessive Compulsive Inventory Obsessive Compulsive Disorder screening test, developed by Dr.
Wayne Goodman of the University of Florida (1994). It is an inventory of symptoms of OCD, and it can aid in the diagnosis of the disorder.
One of the main questions associated with OCD is, when does OCD begin? Well, OCD can start anytime from preschool age to adulthood. One-third to one half of adults with OCD report that it started during childhood. Unfortunately, OCD often goes unrecognized. Studies have found that it takes an average of 17 years from the OCD begins for people to obtain appropriate treatment. People with OCD may b secretive about their symptoms, be embarrassed about their compulsions, or lack insight about their illness, causing them to not seek treatment. This is unfortunate, because earlier diagnosis and proper treatment can help people avoid the suffering associated with OCD and lessen the risk of developing other problems, such as marital and work problems (OCD Foundation, 2000).
There are many other problems that are sometime confused with OCD. Some disorders that closely resemble OCD and may respond to some of the same treatments are trichotillomania (compulsive hair
pulling), body dysmorphic disorder (imagined ugliness), and habit disorders, such as nail biting or skin picking. While they share superficial similarities, impulse control problems, such as substance abuse, pathological gambling, or compulsive sexual activities are probably not related to OCD in any substantial way. Depression and OCD often occur together in adults, and less commonly, in children and adolescents. However, unless depression is also present, people with OCD are not generally sad or lacking in pleasure, and people who are depressed, but do not have OCD rarely have the kinds of intrusive thoughts that are characteristic of OCD. Although stress can make OCD worse, most people with OCD report that the symptoms can come and go on their own. Individuals with OCD may have substance-abuse problems, sometimes as a result of attempts to self-medicate. Specific treatment for the substance abuse is usually also needed.
After a proper diagnosis, there are many treatments available for patients suffering from OCD. However, before any treatment is administered, the patient and family are educated about OCD and its treatment as a medical illness. First of all, there are medications
available. Due to the fact that it is believed that serotonin levels play a role in OCD, medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) these are medications more commonly known as anti-depressants and they also affect serotonin levels. These are such medications as Anafranil, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft. These drugs have been known to have moderate improvement after 8-10 weeks on an SRI. Unfortunately, fewer than 20% of those treated with medication alone end up with no OCD symptoms. This is why medication is often combined with something called Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy (CBT) to get more complete and lasting results. About 20% don’t experience much improvement with the first SRI and need to try another one.
CBT is the psychotherapeutic treatment of choice for children, adolescents, and adults with OCD. In CBT, there is a logically consistent and compelling relationship between the disorder, the treatment, and the desired outcome. CBT helps the patient internalize a strategy for resisting OCD that will be of lifelong benefit. Behavior therapy helps people learn to change their thoughts and feelings by first
changing their behavior. Behavior therapy for OCD involves exposure and response prevention (E/RP). Exposure is based on the fact that anxiety usually goes down after long enough contact with something feared. Thus people with obsessions about germs are told to stay in contact with “germy” objects until their anxiety is extinguished. The person’s anxiety tends to decrease after repeated exposure until he no longer fears the contact. For exposure to be of the most help, it needs to be combined with response or ritual prevention (RP). In RP, the person’s rituals or avoidance behaviors are blocked. For example, those with excessive worries about germs must not only stay in contact with “germy” things, but must also refrain from ritualized washing (“Breaking the Cycle,” 2000).
Exposure is generally more helpful in decreasing obsessions, and response prevention is more helpful in decreasing the compulsive behaviors, so a combination of both of these treatments makes this an effective therapy.
Cognitive Therapy (CT) is the other component of CBT. CT is often added to the E/RP to help reduce the catastrophic thinking and exaggerated sense of responsibility often seen in those with OCD. For example, a person with OCD may think that if they don’t lock the door, it will cause someone to sneak in their house and kill them that night while they are sleeping. CT would help them to challenge that faulty assumption in this obsession. Also, it would help them to quit obsessing about locking the door 15 times, and realize that the door is locked the first time.
People react differently to psychotherapy, just as they do to medicine. CBT can be individual, group, or family, depending on the needs of the patient. Those who complete CBT report a 50% to 80% reduction in OCD symptoms after 12-20 sessions. Also, people with OCD who respond to CBT usually stay well, often for years to come. When someone is being treated with medication, using CBT with the medication may help relapse when the medication is stopped (Barlow & Burke, 1999).
In a December 1999 report, Hyman and Schwartz state that OCD can be a devastating disease, and it affects 1 in 40 people (slightly more women than men), and can come and go many times in one’s life. However, in the past 20 years, treatment has improved drastically upon more knowledge of this disorder. Thus making it highly treatable. The first step is education; without this, it is hard to recognize, diagnose, and treat OCD. With all of the treatments available today, people shouldn’t have to live with this embarrassing, and controlling disorder. There is help, and through education, awareness, and treatment, people don’t have to live with it anymore.
In conclusion, I found that writing this paper was quite fascinating and informative. It also helped me to recognize that although my habits may seem odd at times, they are just that, habits. Obsessions are a lot more extreme than the average habit or quirk. I think it is so important that people who think that they may have this problem seek help, because it is so easily treated. The problem, most people are embarrassed by their obsessions, and are too ashamed to tell anyone or to seek professional help. I enjoyed writing my paper on OCD, and I
know now that I will be able to recognize the symptoms in people around me, and hopefully be able to help them out with my knowledge.
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Compulsive Disorder. [CD-ROM]. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia,
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(2000, April). “Breaking the Cycle”: Help for the Obsessive
Compulsive. [6 paragraphs.] National Association of Cognitive
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University of Florida Brain Institute. (1994). The Florida OCD
Inventory OCD Screening Test. Goodman, Dr. Wayne K. University
of Florida College of Medicine.
(2000, May). How is OCD Treated? [24 paragraphs.] OCD
Foundation [Online serial]. Available
Hyman, Bruce & Schwartz, Jeffrey. (1999, December).
Tormented by thoughts: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder causes
recurring thoughts. [28 paragraphs]. 20/20 news [Online serial].
Neziraglu, Fugen A. (1998). Over and Over again:
Understanding Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder. Maryland:
(2000, May) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms. [11
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Wood, Samuel E. & Wood, Ellen Green. (1999). The World of
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Running Head. ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY
Date Abnormal Psychology
Introduction They call it the silent illness. Obsessive-compulsive dis (OCD ) inflicts many people without being noticed. A person with OCD may be just within our family or group of friends. We may have noticed their extreme cleanliness. constantly washing their hands repeatedly tapping their feet or unending countings in three 's and four 's. We may have even thought they looked weird or even funny and do not realize the emotional and physical and
mental anguish they go through wishing they could stop the obsession and compulsion and have a normal life. This attempts to explain this psychological dis through a discussion of its classification and the various issues behind its theories. symptoms assessments and treatments. The discussions are backgrounded by the story of Howard Hughes in the movie The Aviator ' and his lifetime struggles with the obsessive-compulsive dis
The Movie The Aviator The Aviator is a blockbuster movie released in 2004 starring Leonardo diCaprio and directed by Martin Scorcese. It is about the life of Howard Hughes set in the 1900 's. his passion for movie-making. aviation and women. It featured the real life of Howard Hughes. his successes and his struggle from Obsessive Compulsive Dis (Brendan. 2007
Hughes ' symptoms of OCD started to manifest during his mid-life sometime in 1950 's. he was already very successful in his career as a movie-producer and aviation czar. Hughes took repeated baths. repeatedly washed hands. he avoided.
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This movie is a biographical look at the life of Howard Hughes. It gives fairly accurate look at this man's life from the 1920's through the 1940's. During this time Hughes was involved in directing movies, and piloting test planes produced by his own aviation company, Hughes Aircraft. This movie shows a harsh reality to Hughes' overwhelming affliction with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and how he coped with the disease.
Hughes was an orphan by the age of 17. Hughes father was an inventor who left him a majority of a tool company when he died. After college Hughes moved to Los Angeles to be a movie producer. He jump started the career of actors like Jean Harlow in his movie "Hell's Angels." Shortly after his try with Hollywood, Hughes started into the career of aviation. The focus of the movie surrounds Hughes involvement with his company Hughes Aircraft.
Many side stories of romances, such and the one between Hughes and Ava Gardner, or Katharine Hepburn pop up throughout the movie. There is an ongoing battle between Hughes and Pan Am's Juan Trippe, who bribed Senator Owen Brewster into giving Pan Am a monopoly on international air travel. The even greater battle played out in the movie, was the effects of the OCD on Hughes life.
OCD was portrayed in a very realistic manner in this movie. Dr Jeffrey Schwartz could be responsible for Leonardo DiCaprio's ability to play the role of Hughes with extreme OCD. Schwartz is a neuroscientist and UCLA, and help Leo with his ability to play the part of someone with OCD. DiCaprio spent many days with Schwartz and even met some of his patients observing the reality of the disease in order to better his OCD acting.
Hughes was extremely obsessive about cleanliness, and.Citation styles:
Published: 23rd March, 2015 Last Edited: 23rd March, 2015
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The history of people suffering from OCD dates back to the 15th and 16th century when the disorder was considered as an act of Satan and being possessed by demonic forces. And the sufferers were treated priests who performed an exorcism on them in order to release the demonic possession that was thought to be causing irrational obsessions regarding blasphemous thoughts and intrusive sexual thoughts. (Allison, 2008). Even today people suffering from scrupulosity (religious OCD) often tend to seek relief by a treatment through exorcism."In 1837, the French clinician Esquirol used the term "folie du doute," or the doubting madness, to refer to this cluster of symptoms. Later French writers, including Pierre Janet in 1902, stressed the loss of will and low mental energy as underlying the formation of obsessive-compulsive symptoms." (Goodman & Grohol, 2010). Later on in 1909 Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud in his publication referred the disorder to be results of unconscious conflicts and isolation of thoughts from the emotional components. (Jenike, Baer, & Minichiello, 1998). Today OCD is treated as one of the five major anxiety disorders and treatment is based on Cognitive behavioral therapy and Psychopharmalogic method according to the need of the patient.Areas of Research:
In my research I have focused on the different forms of Obsessions and Compulsions that people suffer when they have Obsessive compulsive disorder. The questions that were outlined in the research proposal were studied to gain a good understanding regarding the OCD. The topics that are studied can be generalized into 2 major parts:
Overview of the disorder: This area of the research was primarily based on finding the general definition of the disease. The characteristics of the disease that can be observed among people were analyzed on the basis of identifying the common obsessions and compulsions. In addition the cause and effect of the irrational behaviors were analyzed to get a clear understanding of OCD. Furthermore the degradation of mentality among the patients that occur because of bizarre nature of obsessions was researched. And finally the repetition of the type of compulsions that relieve the sufferer in order to get rid of the obsessions was taken into account.
Adverse effect on lifestyle: This area of research concentrated on the effects that OCD can have on the lifestyle of the patients. The consumption of time because of the repetitive actions was considered in analyzing the adverse effect on the lifestyle of the patients. Several articles and journals were studied in order to get a clear understanding on the need for order and symmetry by the OCD sufferers. Apart from these a number of case studies were researched to find out if personality characteristics had any relation with the way a person suffers from OCD. I have also researched extensively on the possible causes that can trigger OCD in a person. The types of OCD were carefully analyzed based on the symptoms that prevail among the patients.Hypothesis:
OCD is one of the most chronic anxiety disorder which can be found among the people around us .The hard fact is most of the people who are suffering from it are actually not aware of the situation that they suffer from or may not acknowledge it properly this can be because of several reasons such as personal or societal pressure. I believe through my research it will be proven that many of us fail to acknowledge any symptoms of mental illness and suppress them because of inadequate knowledge about mental health. Through my research I hope to make people more informed consumer of psychology and aware of mental health related issues.Methodology:
The primary data regarding the area of research was collected through administering a questionnaire based survey on a sample group of thirty (30) people. Every individual of the sample population belonged to the age group of 20 to 35 years and the average age of the respondents were 24 years. The respondents were chosen from various universities of United Kingdom, United States of America, Thailand, Singapore and Bangladesh. The core objective for choosing a sample population consisting of respondents from various countries was to observe if different environmental factors had any effect on the mental health of the respondents. The demographic proportion of the respondents was strictly maintained in order to ensure equal participation from both genders. The sample population of the survey consisted of 15 male and 15 female participants. The questionnaire contains a total of fourteen questions. The questions were carefully chosen in order to cover the four risk factors that are considered as the preliminary behavioral symptoms of developing Obsessive compulsive disorder (Kelly, OCD Risk Factors, 2011) (EDDY & WALBROEH, 1999) (Isobel & L.Koran, 2000) The four risk factors which can be used to evaluate the level of exposure towards Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are washing & cleaning habits, checking habits, habits regarding symmetry and order and hoarding habits. These four factors are then analyzed to measure the level of OCD tendencies of the respondents. Secondary data was gathered through the extensive research on the online articles, journals and websites that contained relevant information about the topic. In addition to online resources various resources from the electronic media such as documentaries, reality shows and movies relevant to the topic were taken into account and are used as sources for different types of OCD. To wrap up the data gathered from secondary sources an informal discussion was done with a Dr. N. Asgar regarding the topic.Primary Data Presentation & Analysis: Primary Data:
The first question of the questionnaire was made to find out if the respondents were emotionally stable during the time of the survey.Analysis of the graph
Among the thirty respondents, 26 of them answered yes which is 87% of the total respondents and 4 of them which is 13% answered that they did not face any emotionally disturbing incidents in the last one year.
Since there was no option of gathering information about the nature of the emotionally disturbing incident, a specific conclusion about the emotional stability of the respondent cannot be derived.
The second question is a continuation of the previous question and is intended to find out if the respondents who faced emotionally disturbing event recently, had developed any kind of guilty feeling for it.Analysis of the graph:
Among the 26 respondents of this question15 of them which is 58% of the respondents said they feel responsible for the incident and have developed some guilty conscience about it. And the rest 11 respondents which represent 42% of the total respondents said they were not responsible for the incident and thus have no feeling of guilt because of it.
People who suffer from severe guilty feeling for their deeds for a prolonged time period are more prone to suffer from psychological problems in comparison with the ones who do not. Therefore the data gathered from the primary source show the likelihood of the majority sample population being exposed to the risk of developing some kind of psychological problems in the future if they are not careful about controlling their negative thoughts.
The third question is based on the cleaning and washing habits of the respondents. This question is intended to find out if the respondents suffer from any form of excessive irrational washing and cleaning habits.Description of the graph:
A total number of four respondents which is 13.3% of the total respondents said that they avoid touching certain objects in the fear of getting contaminated by germs. Only one of the respondent said that they wash their hand excessively. Another four respondents answered that they have an excessive fear of getting contaminated by germs. Two of the respondents said that they clean their household excessively and the rest 19 of them which is 63.3% of the total respondents informed that they do not have any severe washing or cleaning habit.
The analysis of the answers shows that the majority of the respondents do not have any kind of irrational washing and cleaning habits. The 36.3% respondents who have excessive cleaning habits are actually aware of the habits and can identify them properly.Analysis of the graph:
This question is intended to find out if the respondents believed in some popular superstitions related to bringing good or bad luck to them.
Among the thirty respondents two of them said that they believe that walking under the ladder will bring them bad luck. Seven of the respondents said that they believe if a black cat crosses their way it will bring them bad luck. One of the respondents answered that fate is controlled by the planets and the stars (Astrology). A majority of the respondents which is 10 in number believed that if their palm itches it is a sign that they are going to get money. Three of the respondents believed that when a dog howls it is a sign that shows a possibility of some ones death to occur. Two of the respondents actually believed that wearing birthstones in their fingers can actually change their luck. One of the respondents also believed that if they break a mirror it can actually bring them a bad luck lasting for 7 years. Four of the respondents believed that crossing fingers can help them to avoid bringing bad luck to their life. And six of the respondents do not believe in any form of the above mentioned superstitions.
Through this question it is intended to find out if the respondent's blamed certain occurrences for their ill fate. In addition to that it also tries to find out if the respondents experience any kind of irrational fear for some natural incidents. By analyzing the answers it can be said that the majority of the respondents develops some form of unexplained fear of bad luck occurring to them when the above mentioned incidents occur. It can be also said that the type of belief that the respondents have also depends on the local perspectives, because different regions in this world have their own form of superstitions. The reason for none of the respondents choosing Friday the 13th as a superstition can be because of this regional factor.Analysis of the graph:
The fifth question is intended to find out if the respondents faced any form of excessive checking habits.
A total of 9 respondent answered that they have to check things (Switching off the stove, electric switches, door lock) in a frequent basis. Two of the respondents answered that they cannot finish their assigned task due to repetitive checking of their work over and over again. Eight of the respondents worry excessively about making mistakes in any kind of work. One of the respondents stated that they experience certain thoughts which make them repeat actions over and over again. 10 out of the total of 30 respondents stated that they do not suffer from any kind of the mentioned checking habit.
This question is very important in the perspective of evaluating the likelihood of the respondents exposure to OCD because the 'Checkers' type of OCD sufferers posses these characteristics. The Obsessive compulsive disorder is also known as the 'Doubting disease' because the sufferer always have a doubt for their actions and have to repetitively check it from time to time because they need constant reassurance from time to time that have done the work properly.Analysis of the graph:
This question is intended to find out the 'Hoarding' habit of the respondents.
A majority portion of 19 respondents answered that they can easily let go of their old possessions and 11 of them stated that it is hard for them to let go of their old valuables.
Hoarding is a major risk factor associated with the OCD. People who have a hard time in letting go of their old possessions can clutter their home with necessary and unnecessary objects collected throughout their life. (Kelly, OCD Risk Factors, 2011)Analysis of the graph:
A total of 16 respondents stated that they need everything around them to have a perfect order of symmetry and 14 stated that it does not matter if everything around them were not in a perfect order of symmetry. The question is important in the context of having symptoms relating to OCD because it represents a type of common symptom that the OCD sufferer poses. From the above information it can be said that the majority respondents have fairly indicated that they somewhat posses a similar characteristic of the OCD sufferers.Analysis of the graph:
This question is associated with the hoarding habits of the respondents. A total of 6 respondents have stated that they do collect random objects as material memories which they think are associated with their special moments. And a majority of 24 respondents stated that they do not perform this kind of action.
This kind of collecting habit by the respondents can provoke hoarding characteristic and also exposes them to the risk factors of OCD.Analysis of the graph:
A total of 21 respondents said they do not forget the place where they kept their frequently used objects and 8 respondents stated that they often forget where they kept their frequently used belongings.Analysis of the graph:
This question is linked with the symmetry and ordering habits of the respondents. A total of 21 respondents said that they do not feel the urge of cleaning a messy room when they come across one and 9 of the respondents stated they feel the urge to clean a messy room when they come across one. This graph attempts to evaluate the level of washing and cleaning habit of the respondents.Analysis of the graph:
The question is based on the symmetry and ordering habit of the respondent. A total of 22 respondents said they notice immediately if their belongings are out of place in their room and 8 respondents said that they do not notice it immediately.
People who have symmetry and order disorder are very aware of the places where they keep theirAnalysis of the graph:
This question is based on the symmetry and order habits. A total of 23 respondents stated that they need to straighten their bed as soon as they wake up and a total of 7 respondents showed that it is not important to them.
This question is intended to gather overall information about the respondent's Hoarding habits. 2 of the respondents have stated they find themselves seemingly useless materials. Another two respondents said their home has become cluttered with collections over the years. 11 of the respondents stated that they do not like other people touching their possessions. 7 of the respondents stated that they are unable to get rid of things. 4 of the respondents stated that other people think that their collection is useless and 4 of the respondents said that they do not have any of the mentioned habits.
The reason for the difference of the number of respondents stating that they are unable to get rid of things with the previous question number 6 regarding the difficulty of throwing things away can be for several reasons. The reasons can be that the respondents were not totally honest with their answers, the respondents might also have had randomly chosen the answers etc. The main purpose of this question was to check the level of consistency of the answers by the respondents by changing the wording formation of the similar questions. The purpose was served as the answers clearly show the difference.
The final question is intended to get an overall data about the anxiety, thoughts and obsessions that the respondents posses. 10 of the respondents stated that they get upset because of the unpleasant thoughts that come to their mind, 2 of the respondents stated that they have doubts about the normal activities that they perform every day. Nine of the respondents stated that they no control over their thoughts. 1 of the respondent answered that frequently irrational thoughts occur that are unpleasant in nature. 8 of the respondents stated that they fear that their negative thoughts might come true. 7 of the respondents stated that when they start worrying about anything they cannot stop it easily. 6 of the respondents stated that little insignificant incidents can make them suffer from anxiety excessively and 1 of the respondents stated that none of the mentioned symptoms occurs to him/her.Primary data findings:
The answers of the questionnaire have shown fair amount of exposure to the risk factors of possessing OCD by the respondents. By evaluating the answers the majority of the respondents around 70% of the total sample showed mild exposure to obsessive compulsive disorder.
But since adequate evaluation by forming a statistical model was not done, it cannot be clearly stated if any the respondents have OCD or not. In addition to that inadequate expertise and authority also prevents the surveyor from driving any solid conclusion about the level of OCD tendencies of the respondents.Secondary Data Presentation & Analysis:
The secondary data that was available for the subject was abundant because the broad nature of the subject. The number of the sources was so enormous that it was very difficult to account all the aspects regarding OCD. In addition to that the lack of adequate expertise on this subject has made it really confusing to select the best sources for selecting the secondary data. However I have put my best effort to choose the most reliable sources to cite in this research and they are categorized according to the type of source in which the data was available in.
In this section the following areas of research are discussed:
A complete Overview of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from online journals, articles and websites:
What are the types of OCD?
What are Obsessions?
What are Compulsions?
Common misconception about OCD
Possible causes of OCD; Biological and behavioral factors
Diagnosis and treatment of OCD
OCD in electronic media
Motion pictures having characters suffering from OCDWhat is OCD?
From time to time most of us have experienced doubts about performing certain actions such as turning off the stove, locking doors or even unplugging the iron and have gone back and rechecked it in order to reassure ourselves. But imagine this kind of doubt occurring in us about every incident of our normal daily activities. The rechecking of every events will consume so much time that it would be impossible for us to perform any work within due time.
According to the website of US national mental health institute "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called "rituals," however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety." (The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH))
The sufferers of OCD may develop eating disorders (Wonderlich & Mitchell, 1997) also other anxiety disorders, or depression (Regier & Rae, 1998) (Robins & Regie, 1991). OCD affects both of the genders equally (Robins & Regie, 1991). It has been found out that most of the OCD sufferers tend to show symptoms from their early childhood and researches also suggests that there is a fair chance that OCD can be caused because of biological factors and it also indicates that it can be passed on to children from their parents genetically (The NIMH GeneticsWorkgroup, 1998). Symptoms of this disorder may come and go, decrease over time, or get very severe in some point. If OCD becomes severe, it can adversely affect a person from working or carrying out normal responsibilities in their daily life. (Regier & Rae, 1998) People with OCD may try to help themselves by avoiding situations that trigger their obsessions, or they may use alcohol or drugs to calm themselves. (Kushner, Sher, & Beitman, 1990)What are the types of OCD?
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder fall into one of the following categories (Smith & Jaffe, 2010) (The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)):
Washers: People who are afraid of contamination. They usually have cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.
Checkers: People who repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.
Doubters and sinners: People who are afraid that if everything isn't perfect or done just right something terrible will happen or they will be punished.
Counters and arrangers: People who are obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colors, or arrangements.
Hoarders: People who fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don't need or use.
Religious OCD (SCRUPULOSITY): Scrupulosity is a psychological disorder characterized by pathological guilt about moral or religious issues. It is personally distressing, objectively dysfunctional, and often accompanied by significant impairment in social functioning (J.W.Ciarrocchi, 1995) (Hedges, 2008)
Number OCD: The person suffering from it is obsessed with specific numbers. An example can be cited from the movie "Number 23" (Schumacher, 2007) where it shows the life of a person acted by Jim Carry as obsessed with the number 23.What are Obsessions?
Obsessions are thoughts, images, or ideas that won't go away, are unwanted and cause extreme distress. (Kelly, OCD symptoms, 2010). Obsessions are repeated, constant and discarded thoughts that can cause the sufferer distress. Obsessions can vary from person to person in the form of thoughts, images or impulses that is repetitive in nature and are thought to be unwanted, intrusive and inappropriate. The sufferer feels overwhelmed by the obsessions as their thoughts seem to interfere in every aspect of their thoughts and is very troubling thus it can initiate much unease and embarrassment (Isobel & L.Koran, 2000). The OCD sufferers tend to suppress the obsessions by trying to divert their thoughts in different direction by performing several activities which can distract them from having repetitive obsessions. (Penzel, 2000)
The common obsessions that people suffer from as described by (Smith & Jaffe, 2010) in their website: "Irrational fear of being infected by germs or dirt and contaminate others, Excessive fear of causing harm to oneself and to others. Intrusive and sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images that keep on repeating as thoughts. Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas, Fear of losing or not having things that are needed, Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up in the right order, Superstitions; excessive attention to something considered lucky or unlucky"
(Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Symptoms, Behavior, and Treatment. Retrieved Apr. 5, 2011, from Web site:http://helpguide.org/mental/obsessive_compulsive_disorder_ocd.htm)What are Compulsions?
Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again. Usually, compulsions are performed in an attempt to make obsessions go away. (Smith & Jaffe, 2010) (Kelly, OCD symptoms, 2010)
Common compulsive symptoms (Smith & Jaffe, 2010):
"Common compulsive behaviors in OCD include: Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks, appliances, and switches. Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they're safe. Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety. Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning habits. Ordering, evening out, or arranging things. Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear. Accumulating "junk" such as old newspapers, magazines, and empty food containers, or other things don't have a use for." (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Symptoms, Behavior, and Treatment. Retrieved Apr. 17, 2011, from Web site: http://helpguide.org/mental/obsessive_compulsive_disorder_ocd.htm)Common Misconception regarding OCD:
The common misconception that prevails among people about Obsessive compulsive disorder is as follows:
OCD Is Caused by a Poor Upbringing: A lot of people who do not have a clear understanding of OCD mistakenly have a misconception that its symptoms develop because of unpleasant childhood experience. Experts have found evidence that OCD sufferers have a different chemical balance in their brains that makes them more prone to developing the OCD condition (Aquire, 2010)Having OCD Means That You Are a Flawed Person:
Another common misconception about OCD is that the person has a flawed personality. The conception is not true because thoughts do not necessarily represent the characteristic of the person and the person suffering from OCD has no control over the obsessions that keep on repeating in their mind. (Aquire, 2010)OCD Sufferers Form Specific Obsessions:
The obsessions can vary in nature from person to person and often can have no specific reason behind them. Certain motion films such as "Cape fear" and "Fatal Attraction" have represented the nature of the obsessions to be specifically being only intended to cause harm in others which is just a generalization of the type of obsession that people suffer from. (Aquire, 2010)
Possible factors for OCD:
Genetics: About 50% of the risk for developing OCD is determined by genes. Family members having OCD is a risk factor for developing the disease as they can pass it on to their children. (Grisham, T.M.Anderson, & Sachdev, 2008)
Life Events: Stressful events occurring in life can trigger OCD. The events can be abusive or sexual in nature which can trigger OCD later on life. (Grisham, T.M.Anderson, & Sachdev, 2008) (Fontenelle & G.Hasler, 2008)
Mental Illness: People who have other form of anxiety disorders can develop OCD. (Grisham, T.M.Anderson, & Sachdev, 2008)
Personality: People who have higher neuroticism can develop OCD (Grisham, T.M.Anderson, & Sachdev, 2008)
Drug or substance abuse: The use of illegal drugs and substances can develop OCD. Drug use makes an imbalance in the chemical formation of the brain and thus causing the neurotransmitters to dysfunction. (Kushner, Sher, & Beitman, 1990)
Treatment of OCD:
"The past failure of traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy and unsuccessful early attempts at pharmacotherapy created the impression that obsessive-compulsive disorder was highly treatment resistant. More recently, effective psychological and pharmacologic treatment methods have been recognized." (EDDY & WALBROEH, 1999)Psychopharmalogic method:
"Medications that inhibit serotonin reuptake have been found to be effective in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clomipramine (Anafranil), a tricyclic antidepressant, was the first drug shown to have a significant effect on the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, as with other tricyclic medications, it is not without serious side effects. The advent of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has changed the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder dramatically. These medications have fewer side effects and are also familiar to the practicing family physician." (EDDY & WALBROEH, 1999)Psychologic methods:
"Successful psychological methods for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder have almost exclusively involved some variation of behavior therapy based on exposure of the patient to the feared object or obsession." (EDDY & WALBROEH, 1999)Motion pictures having characters suffering from OCD:
As Good as it gets (Brooks, 1997): Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is a misanthrope who works at home as a best-selling novelist in New York City. He suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder which, paired with his misanthropy, puts off the neighbors in his Manhattan apartment building and nearly everyone else with whom he comes into contact. He eats breakfast at the same table in the same restaurant every day using disposable plastic utensils he brings with him due to his pathological germ phobia. He takes an interest in his waitress, Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt), the only server at the restaurant who can tolerate his behavior. (Wikipedia, (n.d.). As good as it get (1997 film). Retrieved April 17, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_Good_As_it_gets)
Aviator: (Scorsese, 2004): The Aviator is a 2004 American biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by John Logan, and starring Leonardo Di Caprio. It is the story of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes, drawn largely upon a biography by Charles Higham. (Vanneman A." Bright Lights Film Journal, Issue 47, February 2005. Retrieved: May 3, 2009.) The film centers on Hughes' life from the late 1920s to 1947, during which time he became a successful film producer and an aviation magnate while simultaneously growing more unstable due to severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Aviator was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning five, including one for actress Cate Blanchett. (Wikipedia, (n.d.). The Aviator (2004 film). Retrieved April 17, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Aviator_(2004_film))Limitation:
The limitation of the research included:
Unable to perform the survey on Matured age of 35-50 years group and the senior citizens due to non co-operative attitude.
Due to the broad nature of the subject a lot of categories could not be covered due to limitation of time and inadequate knowledge and expertise regarding the topic
From the primary data consisting of 30 respondents were not enough to derive a proper conclusion
The time period of the research was not enough to consider all the aspects of the topic and also for a further extensive research on the topic
Inadequate knowledge of implementing a proper regression model have constrained from deriving a specific result from the primary data.Conclusion:
The prevalence of OCD is becoming more and more common among the people. The reason behind it can be that people are being more concerned and aware about their mental health conditions. In addition people are now exposed to more knowledge about the early symptoms of mental disorders; this has been possible due to several factors such as concentration on medical health by the electronic media, ease of access and availability of information regarding mental health. The core objective of the research was to make the readers more informed about mental health related problem as well as help them to become an informed consumer of psychological knowledge.
If given the chance to do a further research on the topic I would like to suggest an extensive research on the pattern of relationship that exists between the people suffering from such mental disorders who tend to become substance or drug abusers in order to fill their mental imbalances. It is much important issue to address because the numbers of drug abusers are increasing at a very alarming rate in Bangladesh. This can be mainly because of the inadequate support system in the society regarding mental problems for which people might seek the dependence on drugs in order to overcome their mental deficiencies.
I hope that I have successfully made a difference in the understanding about mental health related topic to anyone who has read my research paper attended my presentation regarding this topic and made them more informed consumer of psychological knowledge.
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