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 suff...
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...t Encarta Encyclopedia, 1-4. from: Microsoft Software. (2000, April). “Breaking the Cycle”: Help for the Obsessive
Compulsive. [6 paragraphs.] National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists [Online serial]. Available http://www.NACBT.org.
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].
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: Madison. (2000, May) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms. [11 paragraphs.] Mental Health Network [Online serial].
Wood, Samuel E., & Wood, Ellen Green. (1999). The World of Psychology. Mass: Allyn & Bacon.
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