Analysis of a Cleaning/Contamination Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Case
This case paper is about Lucinda, a 20-year old single female, who suffers from the Cleaning/Contamination Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) condition since she was very young. She is characterized by intrusive thoughts, images, and/or impulses that cause distress (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors that are performed to neutralize these intrusions (Coles, Schofield & Pietrefesa, 2006), i.e. her repetitive cleaning and washing behaviors. Her anxiety became so excessive that it interfered with her daily life. She perceived that some undesirable object(s), in this case the germs, were still on the things that she will come in contact with, even after she had repeatedly washing and/or cleaning them. Her anxiety further degraded both her social and occupational functioning, which resulted in considerable impacts to herself, her friends and family. In additions, her anxiety also caused her not be able to function to her fullest potential academically and to socialize with her friends and family as much as she wanted to.
Lucinda is currently pursuing her degree in business at a local university. She has been attending the university for the past two-and-a-half years, and yet she is still at her sophomore year. She has earned just 26 credit hours towards her business degree. While attending the school, she also works part-time at the help-desk in one of the university labs.
Lucinda lives in a small apartment off-campus. She has been frequently late for classes and missed multiple class periods each semester. She has been experiencing a lot of stress trying to keep up with her class work and considering dropping 1 to 2 courses this semester. Lucinda has been having an increased concern about germs to the extent that she would want to arrive at the classroom early so that she could select a desk at the edge of a row and thoroughly clean the seat and desktop before the class starts. Recently, she has been having increasing difficulty getting to her class early because she has spent too much time each morning cleaning her apartment, showering and getting dressed, then cleaning the bathroom thoroughly. If she was unable to clean her apartment each morning or arrived early at her class room to select and clean her seat and desk, she would become very anxious. Despite she uses hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day, she still concerns that she would accidentally come into contact with germs.
Due to her overly concern about germs, Lucinda has found it difficult to eat at restaurants or at her friends and family’s places. She believed that these places were not clean enough and her belief has caused problems in her social life. Her conditions of always wanting things cleaned and organized, elevated her anxiety about germ and increased the amount of time she spend cleaning. Recently she found it more difficult to spend times with family and friends...