Ocd: Definition, Cause, and Treatments

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: The Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Theresa Ensign
Burlington County College

ABSTRACT

Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that effects nearly 5 million Americans, and half a million children. OCD is a disease that many people know of, but few people know about. Many people associate repeated washing of hands, or flicking of switches, and even cleanliness with OCD. However there are many more symptoms, and there are also explanations for those symptoms. In this paper, I will describe what obsessive compulsive disorder is, explain some of the effects of it, and some of the treatments to control it.

OCD is a disease that fills the brain with unwanted ideas and worries. It is a disease that effects the cerebral frontal cortex and can start developing as early as age five. It affects both males and females, but males start to show signs of OCD at an earlier age, between the ages of six and fifteen, while in females, it tends to occur later. It is an illness that knows no barriers affecting two to three percent of the U.S. population in any income bracket, of any race, gender, or ethnic group and in any occupation.
OCD is characterized by either obsessions or compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and cause marked stress or anxiety. Compulsions are defined as repetitive behaviors, such as handwashing, or mental acts, such as counting or checking, that one feels driven to perform in response to an obsession. At some point during the course of the disorder, the adult has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions have become excessive and/or unreasonable. The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, become time consuming (they can take more than 1 hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person's normal routine,…...

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