Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Have you ever had a surge of worrying thoughts? Do you ask yourself, did I lock the car; did I turn off the lights? After these thoughts occurred, did you immediately check to make sure you locked your car, and turned off the lights? Though everyone has worrying thoughts, some of these thoughts may develop into unbearable obsessions. Some people cannot rid themselves of these obsessions, even though they are aware that their thoughts and actions are absurd. These people are known to suffer from obsessive- compulsive disorder, also known as OCD.
As Heidi Watkins writes, “OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. OCD is characterized by distressing repetitive thoughts, impulses, or images that are intense, or frightening, and that are unusual or not reasonable” (Heidi Watkins p.15-16). In OCD, obsessions are aided with compulsions to help lessen the anxiety that originates from the sufferer’s obsessions (MedicineNet.com p.1). These obsession and compulsions affect all aspects of the sufferer’s life, because of the time that is being used by the sufferer’s anxiety (MedicineNet.com p.1). OCD starts to develop either between preschool and adulthood, within ages of ten and twelve, or in late teens and early adulthood (International OCD Foundation p.1) and affects men and women of all ethnicities (Heidi Watkins p.16). It is estimated that OCD affects two to three percent of the population (Lennard J. Davis p. 209). Today, seven million people are estimated to have OCD in the United States (Jeffrey Kluger p.2). One in two hundred children and one in one hundred adults are now thought to have OCD (International OCD Foundation p.1). Types of the most common types of OCD include, checking, washing and cleaning, organizing, hoarding aggressive, sexual, religious, or harm, which are accompanied with compulsions (MedicineNet.com p.1). Some forms of OCD may be affected by the sufferer’s background and religion (Christine Purdon, David A. Clark p. 94)
The history of OCD dates back to the first century, and it began to be prominent in the early middle ages. In the early middle ages, OCD was thought to be a cause of “demonic possession” and was treated with exorcisms (Heidi Watkins p.136). However, as time progressed, obsessions and compulsions were thought to be symptoms of religious melancholy in the seventeenth century (Laura Jean Karr p.2). In the 1600s, a form of OCD was thought to be portrayed in Shakespeare’s Macbeth when Lady Macbeth continually washes here hands as a result of her guilty thoughts (Heidi Watkins p.136). Early in the 1900s, great advancements in the knowledge of OCD were made by Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud (Laura Jean Karr p.2). Pierre Janet, a French psychologist, believed that the cause of obsessions came from the inability of the person to use intellectual thinking (Laura Jean Karr p.2). Sigmund Freud was an Australian physician and neurologist who proposed that anxiety results from deep thoughts within one’s self (internal, unconscious conflicts), meaning that obsessions created the need for compulsions (Laura Jean Karr p. 2). He believed that a person’s mind controlled their thoughts to a point where it would make them feel discomfort (Laura Jean Karr p.2). Freud also invented psychoanalysis, a treatment that is centered on the assumption that current psychological problems are caused by prior experiences, but was proven useless (Cherry Pedrick, Bruce Hyman p.1). Sigmund Freud used the term Zwangsneurose, which was communicated as “compulsion” in the United States and “obsession” in England (History of Treatment of OCD p.1). As a result, the term was translated as obsessive-compulsive disorder (History of treatment of OCD p.1). However, names used for OCD in the earlier century included obsessional neurosis, and compulsion neurosis (Cherry Pedrick, Bruce Hyman p.1). OCD was known as a complicated disorder that even confused Freud (Cherry Pedrick, Bruce Hyman p.1). In fact,...
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