There are many different aspects to the identification and treatment of OCD and this paper attempts to identify classic symptoms and theorized risk factors/causes. In addition it explores the viable treatment options and evaluates the efficiency of each in alleviating symptoms while discussing how each treatment functions to facilitate recovery. Furthermore, it assesses the extent to which the treatments may be used together to maximize effectiveness and then provides a probable prognosis.
Verifying the alarm clock was set for the 12th time before finally comfortable enough to go to bed, the thought of awaking to a burning house prompted him to go verify the stove was off. He didn’t think that he had used the stove that day, and he had just checked it a little earlier, but apprehension invaded his thoughts and he knew that it wasn’t going to be possible to sleep until he had checked it again. After all, the article about that house that had burned to the ground, reported that the owner had died by falling asleep with the stove on. After checking the gas only to find it off, he again checked the alarm clock before lying down. Sleep was calling and just before he faded he thought, “Did I leave the light on in the kitchen?”… This may be a very familiar routine for someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Helping people deal with this and other related anxiety disorders has pushed researchers to identify symptoms, causes and risk factors, and develop quality treatments that illustrate patient success.
There are many different factors involved in diagnosing OCD but all of them come back to some basic themes. First, the disorder is classified by repetitive, undesirable thoughts (obsessive) and/or unreasonable recurring behavior (compulsive), such as that described above (Price, 2011, p. 14). People with this disorder generally realize that their thoughts and actions are irrational as well (Sushevska, Olumchev, & Saveska, 2011, p. 89). To them, acting and thinking this way is the only way to minimize the anxiety that they feel.
The symptoms associated with OCD are commonly theme based. For example, someone with an obsession for cleanliness may compulsively clean and put things in order (Myers, 2010, p. 612). They may also wash their hands to the point of rawness, or continually use sanitizers and other chemicals to kill germs. While the compulsions between these individuals differ, the theme here is obviously cleanliness. Other examples of themes could be any of the following: worry of pending disasters, unwanted aggressive or sexual images haunting your thoughts, or even something as seemingly harmless as continually checking on things.
With so many diverse symptoms that seem to share some commonality, researchers have been driven to identify possible causes and risk factors. The root cause of OCD may not be fully realized, but there are a number of theories. Genetic influence (despite the lack of identification of...