The mental disorder known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects over 6 million Americans of all ages and genders. Half of these affected Americans go undiagnosed, and untreated (Charles). Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has noticeable symptoms in many people, but it can be treated.
In the fifteenth century, the first descriptions of OCD behavior occurred. The description was about a young man who couldn’t stop sticking out his tongue, and who had the urge to blurt things out during prayer. However, the term “obsessive compulsive” and medical accounts of the disorder did not emerge until the mid- 1800’s.Sigmund Freud was the man who developed the first known scientific theory for OCD. He proposed that obsessive thoughts were a replacement for more disturbing thoughts and actions that gave the sufferer guilt. Freud believed these thoughts and behaviors were often sexual. After Freud made his first scientific theory, he proceeded to make another called the “Reaction Formation Theory”. This theory proposed the idea that when someone with OCD gets an unacceptable obsessive thought, they replace it with an opposite behavior or compulsion (“Obsessive – compulsive disorder”, Magill’s Medical Guide).
The brain is an extremely complex organ of the body and often times it has problems, such as not being properly circuited. This normally will result in some form of physical or mental abnormality. In mental disorders such as OCD, this abnormality has to do with a communication difficulty between the frontal lobe of the brain, and the inner part of the brain. These areas of the brain play the role of letting a person stop or suppress behaviors. The reason why these areas are not communicating has to deal with a natural chemical called serotonin. Serotonin carries messages between the brain cells, essentially used by parts of the brain to communicate. In order to raise these serotonin levels in the brain, certain types of medications can be used (“Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder”).
Although OCD has no specific cause, it can be onset by health issues, genetics, or stressful time periods. Strep throat is one of the only health issues that have the ability to cause OCD. It occurs when anti-bodies that fight the infection attack nerve tissues in the central part of the brain, this is also called “basal ganglia”. Even though there is no specific gene that causes this disorder, the risk of a child acquiring OCD is a lot higher if even just one of their family members has it (“Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder”). Stressful events can also onset the disorder, things such as pregnancy, childbirth, or family issues (“Obsessive – compulsive disorder”, Magill’s Medical Guide).
“OCD is characterized by recurrent disturbing, distressing, or intrusive thoughts called obsessions ,or ritualized behaviors or mental acts called compulsions.” –Mount Sinais’ Dr. Dorothy Grace (Charles). Obsessions are the part of the disorder that can be categorized into five...