Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Essay

Submitted By vleclerc
Words: 978
Pages: 4

In the United States of America, approximately 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD (beyondocd.org). Obsessive compulsive disorder is anxiety disorder characterized by persistent intrusive ideas, thoughts, impulses or images which often result in performing compulsive rituals over and over again (cmha.ca). According to the World Health Organization, OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability for individuals between 15 and 44 years of age (beyondocd.org). Obsessive compulsive disorder can vary from mild cases to very severe, where it can affect a person’s daily life. Those who suffer from this illness often feel powerless, distressed and anxious (bodyandhealth.canada.com). There is no difference in the rate of OCD among men and women. People of all cultures and ethnicity are affected (ocd.about.com). OCD sufferers share many common symptoms that can be treated with different types of medication and therapy.
Most people with OCD have both obsessions and compulsions but some people can experience just one or the other. In OCD, there are many common symptoms as well as a few that are quite intense. Many people who suffer from this illness will start experiencing symptoms in their teens or early adult years, but will not seek for help for many years. Some common thoughts include a fear of contamination, fear of causing harm to self or others, intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images, order and symmetry and superstitions (helpguide.org). Anxiety is the most prominent symptom of OCD. For example, you may have an overall sense that something terrible will happen if you don't follow through with a particular ritual, such as repeatedly checking to see whether the stove is on. If you don't perform the ritual, you may have immediate anxiety or a nagging sense of incompleteness (webmd.com). Just like there are many common thoughts for this disorder, there are many common compulsive behaviors. These include, excessive double checking, such as locks, appliance and switches, counting, tapping, repeating certain words, ordering and re-arranging things and accumulating “junk” such as old newspapers or empty food containers (helpguide.org). Fortunately most of the symptoms of OCD can be treated.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is difficult to treat and the treatment may not always result in a cure. Those who suffer from OCD may need treatment for the rest of their lives. Treatments for OCD can help bring the symptoms under control to a manageable level so that they don’t rule your daily life. Treatment cannot begin unless there is a diagnosis. According to Swedo, about 15% of children with OCD have a relative who also has it but most of it comes out of the blue. Early diagnosis is also important because therapy is more effective before rituals and obsessions become entrenched (Canadian Reference Centre). The main types of treatments for OCD are psychotherapy and medications (mayoclinic.com). Often, treatment is most effective with a combination of both therapy and medication (mayoclinic.com). In terms of medications, there are many out there for different severities. However on March 14, Par Pharmaceutical Companies has received final approval from the U.S. FOOD and Drug Administration for its Abbreviated New Drug Application for fluvoxamine maleate 100mg and 150mg (closeupmedia.com). The company said that fluvoxamine maleate ER is indicated for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. Other medications available to treat OCD include, Clomipramine, Fluoxetine, Paroxetine and Sertraline (mayoclinic.com). These types of medications help regulate the levels of serotonin (ocd.about.com).
In terms of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective. This type of therapy involves retraining your thoughts and actions so the need for compulsions is no longer there (mayoclinic.com). Being on medication and going through therapy can be difficult, however once people learn how to…