Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Essay

1093 words - 4 pages

Obsessive-Compulsive DisorderImagine living a life where each day you uncontrollably had to wash your hands each time you were to touch a pencil, or had to repeatedly check your house to make sure all of your belongings were in their proper place. Although it sounds crazy, each day about 1 in 50 adults in the United States do live this way. However, it is not their choice. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, normally referred to as OCD, is a mental disorder in which a person who suffers from thoughts, images, or impulses out of their control called obsessions, will repeatedly perform ritualistic compulsions in order to get rid of their own obsessive thoughts. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can cause severe distress and impair the daily lives of those who suffer from it, yet not all Obsessive-Compulsive behaviors signal an illness. Many people have certain routines which they develop and adhere to each day. In order to fully understand Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, one must look at the definitions of obsessions and compulsions and how they affect those living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, what causes it, and how it is treated.According to the DSM-IV, obsessions are repeated thoughts, images, or impulses that are out of ones control. They seem to be a hassle on the lives of those who experience them, and most of the time do not seem to make much sense. For example, someone living with OCD may worry that they had left the stove on, even though they know that they turned it off. Most obsessive thoughts bring on uncomfortable feelings to those living with OCD, such as fear, doubt, or the idea that things have to be done in a certain way or they won't be right. Most people suffering from OCD recognize their obsessions, and are aware that they are irrational, yet they are still out of their control.In order to decrease the intensity of their obsessive thoughts, those suffering from OCD perform compulsions. The DSM-IV states that compulsions are acts that are performed over and over, until any obsessive thoughts are gone. For example, the person who has obsessive thoughts about the stove being left on will repeatedly check the stove until their obsessive thoughts are gone. Compulsions are performed in order to decrease the discomfort caused by irrational obsessive thoughts, yet still cause much distress, and are very time consuming, which can affect ones usual everyday activities such as work, or social relationships.Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder affects people of all different ages. Although over time most cases of OCD tend to become less severe, it can still last a lifetime. Most people who live with OCD state that it developed in young adolescence, yet there are still a large number of people who are unaware of the symptoms, and the disorder goes unrecognized. Early diagnosis and treatment of OCD is the best way to prevent problems which can infringe on everyday life.Since so many people suffer from OCD, one would think that there would be an...

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