Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (The Facts)

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New to this edition are sections on scrupulosity, on culture and OCD, and on mental pollution as well as a new chapter on obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and on the similarities and differences between childhood OCD and autistic disorder. There is also expanded coverage of many othertopics, including new developments in the understanding and treatment of obsessional thoughts, and a new table detailing drugs used for the disorder.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Relationship to other disorders. Effect on family work and social life. Prevalence and related factors. Diagnosis assessment and evaluation.

Obsessivecompulsive disorder in children. Lindsay , Graham E. Their contribution to the study of this area is widely acknowledged. And according to the World Health Organization, OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability, worldwide, for individuals between 15 and 44 years of age.

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OCD is characterized by obsessions and compulsions that take up at least an hour a day — but usually longer — and cause significant distress. Movies and television programs sometimes feature characters who are supposed to have OCD. Unfortunately, films and TV shows often mistake or exaggerate Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms or play it for laughs. Obsessions are persistent, uncontrollable thoughts, impulses, or images that are intrusive, unwanted and disturbing. They cause anxiety or discomfort that significantly interferes with normal life.

Individuals who have OCD feel compelled to perform repetitive actions called compulsions, or rituals, in an attempt to relieve the distress caused by the obsessions. For example, a person with an obsessive fear of intruders may check and recheck door locks repeatedly to ensure that no one can get in. Compulsions are frequently overt — something we can see.


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However, they may also be carried out mentally, such as mental praying or counting. Although most people with OCD realize their obsessions are irrational, they believe the only way to relieve their anxiety or discomfort is to perform compulsions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Unfortunately, any relief provided by the compulsions is only temporary and ends up reinforcing the obsession, creating a gradually-worsening cycle of OCD behavior. Far too often, people with OCD suffer in silence, unaware that their symptoms are caused by a neurobiological problem. Like others who have illnesses such as asthma or diabetes, people with OCD can learn to manage their symptoms. The appropriate treatment produces changes in the brain by weakening old neurological pathways and strengthening new ones, allowing it to function more normally.

Fortunately, research continually provides new information about finding ways to understand and treat OCD.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder - Stanley Rachman; Padmal de Silva - Oxford University Press

And the prognosis for people who suffer from OCD is more hopeful than ever before. Millions of people are affected by OCD. Current estimates are that approximately 1 in 40 adults in the U.

Obsessions are persistent and uncontrollable thoughts, impulses, or images that are intrusive, unwanted and disturbing. In response to the distress created by these obsessions, people with OCD perform certain mental or physical compulsions or rituals.


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Even though they usually realize that their obsessions are irrational, they feel compelled to carry out these rituals. Unfortunately, relief is only temporary, and the obsessive-compulsive cycle continues. And frustration, anger, and hopelessness often result.