Essay discussing causes of disorders for three selected case studies The case of Bess
Obsessive compulsive disorder commonly referred to as OCD is an anxiety disorder; people who suffer from OCD act compulsively and have obsessive thoughts. The fear of contamination is most common type of OCD; it leads to compulsive cleaning rituals as fear of germs, or dirt is a frightening thought for OCD sufferers. OCD could be explained biologically and psychologically. Genes could be a factor that could expose one to OCD. It is thought of that OCD could be passed on genetically. Family studies are good source supporting this theory; the siblings, parents or children of OCD sufferer have ...view middle of the document...
Firstly Biological factors will be discussed. The serotonin levels in OCD sufferers has been found to be quite low, the serotonin is responsible for regulating mood, low serotonin levels can cause depression which is common within the OCD sufferers. Bess’s mother seemed to be depressed as she has never shown Bess and warmth or fun and Bess felt unhappy growing up even though her mother spent a great deal of time and effort of her it could suggest that Bess’s mother could have suffered OCD too. Bess was brought up in a single parent household, and most OCD sufferers get their OCD behaviours from their parents. Bess father was not really involved in Bess’s upbringing therefore there was no other adults than Bess’s mother to demonstrate different behavioural patterns. Bess’s mother shows typical OCD behaviour such as concern about the cleanings and how much she emphasised on virtues of cleanliness. Bess’s mother used to make her Bess quality if she was to express her emotions and feelings and Bess had to bottle everything up. Bess was religious person and often her morals were put to the test and she didn’t know what was acceptable and what wasn’t and it made her feel more quality if she did something that was against church rules. Bess had realised that if she got involved at school it would provide the rewards her
mother was seeking for but also distract her from her urges and impulses. Ritual cleansing is a good example of her distracting herself it was difficult for her though as these distractions started interfering with her work creating an internal conflict.
Another way of looking at Bess’s case is to look at psychodynamic theory and how it could explain Bess’s OCD. This theory suggests that OCD is caused by psychodynamic conflicts from the beginning of psychological development. With OCD main conflict is between id and the ego. The anxiety is triggered by obsessive thoughts and OCD sufferer tries to minimise it by using defence mechanisms that could be compulsive behaviour. “Psychoanalytic concepts may help explain the content of the patient’s obsessions, but they do little to improve understanding of the underlying processes and have not led to reliably effective treatments” (Goodman, 2010). Fraud believed that childhood events have psychological influences throughout life on both conscious and unconscious level. Bess’s mother had made sure she washed her hands thoroughly each time she went to the bathroom or any other reasons she touched herself in the genital area. ‘’The learned fears begin to generalize to different stimuli and the fear of contamination may gradually spread” (Goodman, 2010).
The cognitive theory suggests that OCD sufferers take the importance of the thought out of proportion and misinterpret it they might see it as if it is real threat. These thoughts can cause real deal of anxiety and other emotions such as guilt or shame. People with such thoughts might try to minimise them and avoid situations that...