Obsessive-Compulsive disorder

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A woman describes that she has an intense fear of germs. She constantly gets random thoughts about developing an illness or disease by touching things around her. As a result, she washes her hands repeatedly because it reduces the anxiety that she feels about her fear. After a while, her fear comes back and she starts her ritual of washing her hands repeatedly again. This person is most likely affected by OCD. Obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted and uncontrollable thoughts (obsessions) and/or repeating certain behaviors over and over again (compulsions) (Baldridge, 2010). OCD affects both men and women equally and it affects about two percent of the population (Placeholder1). Living with OCD is challenging and it greatly affects the life of the person who is suffering, their family, and even their friends. The exact cause of OCD is not known, but there are certain factors that contribute to developing the symptoms of the disorder such as genetics, cognitive, biological, and environmental factors (Merril, 2012). There are two diagnostic symptoms of OCD: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are images or ideas that uncontrollably run through a person’s head that a person may find annoying because it is difficult to shake off. Some examples of obsessions that a person may experience are excessive fear of germs or contamination, constant checking and rechecking, unwanted sexual thoughts or feelings, and concern about symmetry and order (hefkjf). In order to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, sufferers perform certain behaviors repeatedly. These repetitive actions are called compulsions. Doing certain things temporarily gets rid of their distress about their obsessions. But, when t... ... middle of paper ... ...eople around them. Having obsessive thoughts and performing their compulsive behaviors can be very time consuming. They interfere with the daily activities that the person with OCD is planning to do. Not only does this affect the individual, it also affects the individual’s family and friends. It dominates a person’s life and can destroy their ability to function normally at school, work, and even at home. A person with OCD may feel ashamed of his/her illness and try to hide it instead of getting treated. Family members and friends of people suffering from OCD may feel confused and frustrated about their behavior especially if they don’t know that person has OCD. They may find it difficult to understand why that person needs to perform some things repeatedly and may find it unnecessary. It may also be difficult for the family to help the person cope with their OCD.
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