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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Essay

2123 words - 8 pages

On occasion there are individuals, such as Howard Hughes, who are plagued by intrusive thoughts, ritualistic behaviors, or mental acts in which they feel compelled to entertain. Individuals such as this suffer from a psychological disorder known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). “According to factor analytic research, OC symptoms have been linked to three main dimensions of dysfunctional beliefs: the over importance of and need to control thoughts (ICT), perfectionism and the intolerance of uncertainty (PC), and the inflated responsibility and overestimation of threats (RT).” (Taylor, Afifi, Stein, Asmundson, & Jang, 2010) Two of these dysfunctional beliefs, perfectionism and the overestimation of threats, are seen within Mr. Hughes character. In addition, Hughes displays episodes of anxiety, noticeably linked to his overly estimated potential of threats, such is demonstrated with is belief that “spies are in his midst.” Disorders linked to the Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum have several plausible etiologies, including psychosocial experiences (such as parent-child relations or traumatic life events) and genetic vulnerabilities (such as genetic heredity, perinatal injuries, or infections).
The presence of socially learned behaviors experienced during childhood modeled from significant figures in their lives has been reported as precursors of OC symptoms. (Villemarette-Pittman et al. 2004) “Evidence provided by Cavedo, Parker, and colleagues (1994) illustrates that overly protective parenting will lead to the development of OCD in children.” (Smari, Martinsson, & Einarsson, 2010) At the start of the movie, one is presented with a dramatic and powerful image of Howard Hughes as a youth being bathed by his mother. As his mother is bathing him, she audible spells the word “Quarantine” for which Howard promptly spells and repeats to her. The one and only word Mrs. Hughes has Howard spell, followed by an inquisition of knowledge regarding markings on homes of African Americans, Cholera (a bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water, and causes severe diarrhea and dehydration), and typhus (a Rickettsia typhi or Rickettsia prowazekii bacterial disease spread by lice or fleas). After Howard’s seemingly routine bathing ritual, Mrs. Hughes cups her son’s face, with a visible expression of fear and concern, she tells her son, “You are not safe.” This author can only assume that Howard’s ritualistic bathing routine, and frequent tutelage of diseases resulted in the development of symptoms within the Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum. Based upon this moving display of concern for the safety of her son, this author can only concluded there is a high probability that Mrs. Hughes was a likely source of Howard’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
A second potential etiology for developing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders involves genetic vulnerabilities. There have been numerous genetically based studies involving family,...

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