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Conditions,Complications, And More Associated With Severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Includes Personal Story.

1442 words - 6 pages

Do you perform unnecessary rituals in your daily routine? Are you afraid to throw anything out? Do you constantly organize and reorganize until you cannot find anything? If so, you may suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? More commonly known as OCD, this disease affects one in forty people, or five million Americans. Although when people think of OCD they picture that Jack Nicholson movie or someone washing their hands too much, the truth is that this disease is serious and can really ruin the lives of those living with it.Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which is most easily detectable in adolescence, is attributable to excessive brain activity - the use of energy is higher than normal in the orbital cortex which causes the brain to overwork and literally "heat up". An easier way to picture this is to imagine a gate at the orbital cortex (the underneath of the front portion, controlling the thought process) of a normal brain. When a person without OCD completes a thought the gate will slam shut and the thought will be over, allowing the person to move onto other thoughts. In a person with OCD the gate is unable to close and stays 'locked' open, sending false signals that the thought or action must be completed over and over again. This is called "Brain Lock" because key structures of the brain are locked together, making the person run on 'repeat', similar to a broken record. This then creates 'obsessions' and 'compulsions' (hence, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) which are very difficult to rid yourself of. Obsessions are intrusive,distressing thoughts and images (mentally) which cause extreme anxiety. This anxiety will lead to compulsions, behaviors performed to ease or get rid of anxieties caused by obsessions.In many cases the symptoms of OCD are alike and include: fears of contracting a dreadful illness, fears of dirt and germs, the need to align objects "correctly", the inability to discard anything, repeating routine activities for no reason, counting compulsions, excessive list making and many, many more. People with OCD do not derive any pleasure from these bsessions/compulsions and find that not only are they time-consuming but that the obsessions/compulsions begin to isolate these people from other normal people. Therefore, these actions are performed only to ease anxiety and often times are not even voluntary, the brain and body simply work against the person, who becomes the victim. A person suffering from OCD may feel that if he doesn't count to 32 (because odd numbers are "unlucky") before he opens the front door, a plane will crash and kill everyone on board. Another person may think that his hands are contaminated and wash them 54 times before they are clean enough, only now he can't leave the bathroom because the door is dirty so he must wait for someone else to enter before leaving. But what if his sleeve happens to just brush the door? That could start a whole new obsession! This could...

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