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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Essay

996 words - 4 pages

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
What is OCD?
OCD is an anxiety disorder where sufferers experience persistent and intrusive thoughts occurring as obsessions, compulsions or a combination of the two. Obsessions are things that people think about and can comprise of inappropriate ideas and visual images that aren’t based on reality, such as being convinced that there are germs everywhere. Compulsions are what people do as a result of those obsessions; they are an attempt to reduce distress or prevent feared events, though there is little chance of them doing so.

Symptoms of OCD.
Obsessive symptoms.

Common obsessions include:
* Contamination, eg by germs.
* Fear of losing ...view middle of the document...

Compulsive symptoms.

Common compulsions include:
* Excessive washing/cleaning, eg hair brushing.
* Excessive checking, eg that doors are locked.
* Repetition, eg bodily movements.
* Mental compulsions, eg praying in order to prevent harm.
* Hoarding, eg of magazines.

Common compulsions include:
* Excessive washing/cleaning, eg hair brushing.
* Excessive checking, eg that doors are locked.
* Repetition, eg bodily movements.
* Mental compulsions, eg praying in order to prevent harm.
* Hoarding, eg of magazines.
Behavioural.
* Repetitive – sufferers feel compelled to repeat behaviours as a response to their obsessive thoughts, images and ideas.
* Hinders everyday functioning – the performance of repetitive, compulsive behaviours can seriously disrupt the ability to perform everyday functions.
* Social impairment – the performance of repetitive, compulsive behaviours can seriously affect the ability to conduct meaningful impersonal relationships.
Emotional.
* Distress – the recognition that compulsive behaviours cannot be consciously controlled can lead to strong feelings of distress.
Cognitive.
* Uncontrollable urges – sufferers experience uncontrollable urges to perform acts they feel will reduce the anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts, such as cleaning door handles to remove contamination threats.
* Realisation of inappropriateness – sufferers will understand their compulsions are inappropriate, but cannot consciously control them.
Genetic explanations for OCD.
This explanation is the perception of OCD being transmitted through inherited factors, with research that centred on families and twins to assess the extent to which genetics are a factor in having OCD. However, twin studies can be difficult to evaluate as we can’t differentiate the relative influences of genes and the environment.
More recent attention had been brought upon gene-mapping studies: this involves comparing the genetic material from sufferers and non-sufferers. These kinds of studies also allow researchers to see how closely linked OCD and Tourette's syndrome are as it is very popular for people to suffer from both, however, though there are genetic similarities between the two, they are still both classed as separate disorders. The results from these forms of study indicate that there is a genetic link to OCD as particular gene can be more involved, making some individuals more vulnerable to...

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