Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Mental Health Issue – E

The issue of mental health as it relates to our well-being and through every facet of our lives cannot be over-emphasized. That is why we cannot talk about mental health issues without placing a level of severity on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

OCD is an anxiety disorder in which over-time people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). Compulsive, repetitive behaviors like washing once hands, using the toilet, can significantly interfere with a person’s daily activities and social interactions.

This issue can just be put as a situation whereby an individual performs a task repeatedly as a result of the urge to do so or due to persistent thoughts and not doing them causes great distress to this individual suffering from OCD. Most persons suffering from this disorder knows that these obsessions are not real but can do little or nothing to stop the circle; they have a hard time trying to get their mind off this obsessions.

To diagnose OCD in a patient, then it requires the presence of an obsession and compulsions that are time-consuming (more than one hour a day), causes extreme distress, and impair work, social or other important function. Based on proven facts about 1.2 percent of Americans have OCD, and among adults, slightly more women than man are affected. OCD is prevalent in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood; the average age symptoms appear in 19 years old. People suffering from OCD understand that their thoughts do not correspond with reality; however, there is always the feeling of acting as though their notions are right. OCD accounts for between 0.1% and 4.60% of psychiatrically disturbed individuals.

During a particular research conducted by J Turk, I M Marks and J Horder, a case study was examined, it focused on a woman who was having issues with anxiety as a result of her making a comment about a child’s present to one of her colleagues during the children’s church service, she narrated “The first attack occurred during a children’s’ church service. I joked to Joe about one of the children present. It was not nasty, but it started to play on my mind. The thought of the child’s parent hearing what I said and misinterpreting it made me anxious. My thoughts rapidly expanded; the parents would be annoyed and report me. I will be reprimanded and dismissed from the school, and the story would be in national newspapers. I might be sent to prison. Joe tried to reassure me, but I could not believe him. I felt wicked. I deserved to be punished. From then on I monitored my speech carefully, being unable to converse unless I was at home with the windows shut. My problems started with panic leading to avoidance, checking and rituals, to stop the situation recurring”. Anxiety grew into an obsession with dirt and cleanliness, and she said” I washed my hands 100 times a day as indicated by my bleeding knuckles. I removed 40 tea towels at a time, I thought lice were living on my body, and itching reinforced my fear. The research showed that her disorder stemmed from her anxiety and started developing into more severe obsessions.

Based on the research, treatment packages are arranged for patients suffering from OCD, this included;

Exposure: The patient confronts the anxiety-provoking situation and faces it head-on.

Response prevention: The patient is to refrain from undertaking his/her anxiety compelled rituals.

Modeling: The therapist taking care of the patient models a pattern of behaviors and responses that he/she should follow.

William Kellogg is a veteran writer who’s covered the subject of the intersection of technology, health and mental wellness for nearly two decades.