Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Essay

Submitted By candielaine89
Words: 1298
Pages: 6

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Alexandra Benedetti
Abnormal Psychology
Research Paper

Have you ever had that strange nauseated feeling when contemplating something in your future? That overwhelming panic that sends your sympathetic nervous system into immediate fight or flight mode is anxiety (hypo…). Anxiety disorders create massive cognitive distress in individuals experiencing them. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder (book). This anxiousness and fear is resolved in bizarre ways with OCD. These people are subconsciously seeking relief from their anxieties in ways that are abnormal and maladaptive. OCD is caused for a variety of reasons, all still being discussed, researched, and debated. Psychology is filled with gray area; our unconscious minds hide many aspects of functioning and psychologists are still trying to decide what ultimately causes a crippled obsessive compulsive individual (Mayo). “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).” (Mayo). Obsessions or compulsions identify individuals with this disorder because they are often recognizably strange ways of thinking and behaving. With OCD, an individual may experience both obsessions and compulsions or one or the other (Mayo). “OCD obsessions are repeated, persistent and unwanted urges or images that cause distress or anxiety. You might try to get rid of them by forming a compulsion or ritual.” This statement by the Mayo Clinic staff explains the connection between the obsessions and compulsions and how they begin to feed off of each other and place the person in dangerous patterns of thought and behavior. The obsessions have manifested in various ways depending on the person, but there have also been strong themes present in various obsessive and unwanted thoughts. Some of these are: fear of contamination or dirt, having things orderly and symmetrical, aggressive or horrific thoughts about harming yourself or others, and other unwanted thoughts, including aggression or sexual or religious subjects (Mayo). These thoughts literally haunt these people. It is not to be taken lightly. The thoughts will block any other thoughts from entering their attention and they are so focused on them that signs will often appear that they are in distress because of what is plaguing their minds. Some examples of noticeable signs are: “fear of being contaminated by shaking hands or by touching objects others have touched, doubts that you’ve locked the door or turned off the stove, intense stress when objects aren’t orderly or facing a certain way, images of hurting yourself or someone else, thoughts about shouting obscenities or acting inappropriately, avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands, distress about unpleasant sexual images repeating in your mind.” (Mayo). When obsessions repeat in their minds, they begin to do things compulsively at an attempt to release some of the anxiety. They feel so driven to perform these repetitive actions that logic doesn’t matter to them, nor pain in certain situations. This is why this disorder is so dangerous and problematic in their day to day life. “These compulsions are not rationally connected to preventing the feared event.” (Mayo). Some themes seen in compulsive behaviors include: “hand washing until your skin becomes raw, checking doors repeatedly to make sure they’re locked, checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it’s off, counting in certain patterns, silently repeating a prayer, word or phrase, arranging your canned goods to face the same way.” (Mayo). Those symptoms will vary and be severe in some cases and less in others. It is obvious then, what general symptoms manifest that may cause individuals to seek psychiatric consultation. Ultimately it might be need to be recognized by someone other than the individual experiencing the symptoms. While people with this