This paper will evaluate Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to include a historical overview of the disorder including a literature review, current research of the disorder, and a Christian worldview of the disorder.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder diagnosed when obsessions and/or compulsions seem to be unreasonable or excessive, cause the sufferer distress, consume a certain amount of time daily, and significantly interfere with daily functioning (Comer, 2010). Obsessive compulsive disorder is a heterogeneous condition in that sufferers present with a wide variety of symptoms and behaviors (Pignotti & Thyer, 2011). Denys (2011) asserted obsessive compulsive disorders differ from other mental disorders in that the person suffering from the disorder plays a direct role in the development, maintenance, and course of the disorder. Obsessive compulsive disorder presents two separate distinct characteristics or components. Obsessions, which are persistent, recurring, intrusive, troublesome, thoughts or urges which are recognized as non-realistic by the patient, and compulsions, which are repetitive behaviors, rituals, or acts that are conducted in response to the obsessive thought in an attempt to lower the anxiety resulting from the obsession make up obsessive compulsive disorder (Preston, O’Neal, & Talaga, 2010). Obsession and compulsions cause anxiety, fear, loss of control, guilt, shame, and/or aggression and cannot be denied, resisted, doubted, avoided, compared, or balanced (Denys, 2011, p.5). Comer (2010) pointed out obsession as being both ego dystonic and ego alien for those who suffer from them. If the patient attempts to ignore the thoughts anxiety increases, not only in the singular episode, but also in the recurring occurrence (Comer, 2010). Obsessions can range from obsessive wishes, impulses, images, ideas, to doubts with specific basic themes presenting for the patient (Comer, 2010). Denys (2011) explained obsessionality as having two components including the thought or idea that the patient is obsessed by and the ritual that the patient is obsessed with. The person suffering the obsession feels as if they are a victim being passively subjected to the thought (Denys, 2011). Those suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder eventually lose their frame of reference for normality as they are consistently focused on the idea or situation which is the obsession (Denys, 2011). Compulsions often are automatic, serve more than one purpose, and are dependent upon the type of obsession associated (Starcevic, Berle, Brakoulias, Sammut, Moses, Milicevic, & Hanna, 2011). Compulsions present in a variety of forms from cleaning, checking, touching, seeking order, verbal, to counting (Comer, 2010). The primary function of a compulsion is to reduce anxiety caused by an obsession but they may also serve a variety of other functions depending on the associated obsession (Starcevic, Berle, Brakoulias, Sammut, Moses, Milicevic, & Hanna, 2011). Starcevic, Berle, Brakoulias, Sammut, Moses, Milicevic, & Hannan, (2011) explained further that the actual function of the compulsion is directly related to the type of compulsion for example, compulsions involving ordering, arranging, and counting are directly related to things not being right, washing compulsions are directly related to the disgust associated with the compulsion of keeping things clean, checking compulsions are directly related to the belief that failure to “check” will result in catastrophe, and, finally, hoarding compulsions are directly related to the persons personal appraisal of the item being hoarded. Denys (2011) explained that patients recognize there obsessions and compulsions are unreasonable or excessive; however, they feel as if they are forced to think the obsessive thought or perform he compulsive act. Some characteristics...