Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

As Aardema and O’Connor (2007) explains Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of mental disorder that when affecting a person, the person suffers from intrusive thoughts or what is termed as obsessions, leading to compulsive behaviors as well as mental actions, which the person is compelled to carryout, in a manner that is rigid so as to reduce the anxiety brought by these intrusive thoughts. OCD highly affects the ability of a person to perform his/her daily duties.

Previous, it was believed that OCD was a rare disorder, however presently; it now understood to be more prevalent than various other mental disorders. In fact, it is estimated that OCD has become the fourth most prevalent mental disorder in America. It is estimated by the National Institute of Mental Health that nearly 2. 2 million American suffer from OCD. Indeed, it is thought that one in every 50 adults suffer from OCD in America (Aardema and O’Connor, 2007). OCD usually start in children or young adolescents normally when aged about 10 years.

In adults, OCD normally start roughly at 21 years of age. Definition O’Dwyer (2000) clearly explains that, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a kind of anxiety disorder whereby a person suffers from unreasonable fears and thoughts or obsessions that results in a person engaging in repetitive manners referred to as compulsions. A person suffering from OCD may recognize that his/her obsessions are unreasonable, and the person may attempt to overlook them or prevent them.

However as O’Dwyer (2000) observes, that merely increases the distress as well as anxiety. Eventually the person will feel compelled to carry out compulsive conducts so as to reduce his/her distress. OCD usually centers on themes, like a fear of contracting germs, to relieve this contagion fears, a person may impulsively wash his/her hand until they get sore or chapped. In spite of his/her attempts, the worrying thoughts of OCD keep on returning. This results to further ritualistic behavior, and a vicious cycle, which characterizes OCD (O’Dwyer, 2000).

Demographic and statistics Aardema, and O’Connor (2007) explains that, as at 1980 a study carried in New Haven, Baltimore, Los Angeles and St. Louis Durham involving 20,000 adults, it was established that the occurrence rate of OCD among both male and female was 2. 5%. In this study, it was established that education level was also a factor in occurrence of OCD. According to the study it was found out that OCD cases was low among those people who have completed high school at 1. 9% compared to those who have not at 3. 4%.

Nonetheless, it was established that for those who have completed college education, occurrence rate was high in those who had degree (3. 1%) compared to those with some college education at (2. 4) (Aardema, and O’Connor, 2007). when it comes to age, the study established that OCD normally begins at late teenager years up to around mid 20s, among both male and female, however, OCD in male seems to begin at a slightly lower age (Aardema and O’Connor, 2007). Symptoms: entails obsessions and compulsions Symptoms of OCD: Obsessions

Symptoms that are related to OCD obsessions entail repetitive, continuous and undesired thought, pictures, ideas or impulses that a person get involuntary and, which appear to merely nonsense. These obsessions normally intrude when a person is attempting to think of other things or trying to perform other activities. Normally obsessions have theme like: • Fear of contagion or dirt • Having to arrange thing in an orderly and symmetrical manner • Violent or horrifying impulses • Sexual images or ideas OCD symptoms that entail obsessions could include:

• Fear of getting contamination through shaking hands or through touching items other people have touched. • Doubts on whether a person has locked his/her door or switched off the gas • Extreme distress if items are not arranged in an orderly way or facing the correct side • Reflections of hurting your children • Desires to shout obscenity in wrong places • Avoidance of scenarios that could induce obsessions, like shaking of hands • Dermatitis as a result of regular hand washing • Replaying pornographic pictures in your psyche • Hair loss due to pulling the hair off (Obsessive Compulsive foundation, 2008)

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