Obsessive compulsive disorder is said to affect 2.3% of the population who are between the ages of eighteen and fifty-four. In the United States alone, 3.3 million people suffer from this mental illness. Statistics have shown that both men and women are equally affected by obsessive compulsive disorder. Children as young as six years old could show signs of OCD, however, diagnosis at this age could be difficult. In most cases, signs of OCD become definite during adolescence into early adulthood. Usually stress, illnesses and fatigue can lead this disorder and its symptoms to worsen. Throughout a person’s life, OCD could become mild, to the point where it is almost nonexistent, or it could completely take over their lives. It is incredibly important to seek help and continue treatment that will help maintain OCD at a healthy level. Failing to do so can certainly lead to the inability to function properly in one’s life (Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). This paper will discuss obsessive compulsive disorder in detail. It will compare the differences between obsessions versus compulsions, possible causes of OCD that have been discovered to date, the different types of OCD, and finally, various treatment options.
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental illness which affects a person’s thoughts and actions. It is categorized as an anxiety disorder. People with obsessive compulsive disorder are known to have reoccurring thoughts and/or engage in the same behaviors multiple times throughout the day which they feel compelled to do. Sometimes, obsessions become disturbing images or uncontrollable impulses. A person with this disorder most often tries to get rid of obsessive thoughts by performing compulsive behaviors or by simply avoiding any situations that may possibly trigger those thoughts. In other words, this is a way to lessen the anxiety that is created by these thoughts. However, sometimes it is the compulsions themselves that continue to add on to the anxiety, especially for those who experience a more serve form of obsessive compulsive disorder. For a person who has had OCD for a long time it is very possible for them to recognize his or her obsessive thoughts and fight back compulsive behaviors but for many giving in to them is much easier (Goodman, 2006)
Obsessive vs. Compulsive
Most people with obsessive compulsive disorder experience both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors but a small percentage of people with this disorder only experience obsessions alone or compulsions alone. Obsessions are the involuntary part of this disorder. For the most part, thoughts distract people from their everyday life, often impacting relationships. Compulsions are what drive a person to do certain behaviors. As mentioned before, compulsions can cause extreme anxiety, just like obsessions, due to the fact that many times they come back much stronger (Robinson, Segal & Smith, 2014).
As stated before,...