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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Ocd) Essay

1032 words - 5 pages

There are many mental illnesses and disorders that affect millions of people lives. One such disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), typically manifests in men during the late teen years and in women during the early twenties. In the past, OCD has been difficult to diagnose, with a range of symptoms making a diagnosis more difficult. In addition, there are a variety of different therapies and treatments that can be adopted in order to alleviate the symptoms and help a patient return to a somewhat normal life. Patients often have difficulty in social situations and can find it difficult to perform work and academic pursuits successfully. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a serious ...view middle of the document...

Another issue with diagnosis is that “most people seek treatment from a medical or primary care provider but not a psychiatrist” (Valente, 2002, p. 126). Without appropriate training, it is difficult to understand the nature of the disease, due in part to the fact that “Until the 1970s OCD was viewed as a rare condition, which was difficult, if not impossible, to treat” (Gournay et al., 2006, p. 59). However, OCD is a treatable mental illness.
There is a combination of factors that contribute to the onset of obsessive compulsive disorder. First, “Anxiety and OCD may arise from a malfunction of the brain or internal biochemical substances that help individuals prepare for danger” (Valente, 2002, p. 126).
“Medications to regulate OCD are not just a crutch to reduce symptoms but a treatment for a chemical imbalance” (Valente, 2002, p. 126). In addition, “According to cognitive theorists, anxiety disorders—including OCD—may stem from negative thinking and irrational ideas as well as genetic and biochemical sources” (Valente, 2002, p. 126). In order to diagnose OCD accurately, it is necessary to keep in mind that “OCD includes both obsessions and compulsions” (Valente, 2002, p. 127). Obsessions are when a patient has recurring thoughts that cause anxiety and are typically inappropriate. Compulsions are responses to an obsession that drives a repetition in behaviors. The patient performs the compulsive behavior in an attempt to reduce stress or anxiety. The steps of diagnosis begin when the clinician “establishes rapport, reviews past history, and conducts a neurobehavioral mental status exam. Information is gathered on the OCD symptoms (e.g., obsessions, avoidance, compulsions, cognitive and affective responses” (Valente, 2002, p. 127). There are a few ways to identify symptoms and “Asking if the person has repeated behaviors or rituals is a good way to begin an interview” (Valente, 2002, p. 128). Also, “The clinician or staff also may observe some ritual behaviors in the clinic” (Valente, 2002, p. 128). The repetition of behaviors and anxiety-based stresses are often indicators of the illness. For instance, “Common checking of locks and security measures, and fear of being late and constant checking of examples of OCD include fear of germs and...

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