Mental Illness Paper
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is real illness that can be treated with medicine and therapy. When have OCD, you have recurring, upsetting thoughts (called obsessions). You repeat doing the same thing, over and over again (called compulsions) to make the thoughts go away. And, you feel like you cannot control or stop these thoughts or actions. The obsessions, or upsetting thoughts, can include things like a fear of germs, a fear of begin hurt, a fear of hurting others, and disturbing religious or sexual thoughts. The compulsions, or actions you repeat to make the thoughts go away, can be things like counting, cleanings hand washing, and checking on things. While these actions provide only short-lived relief, not doing them only increases anxiety. Many people who have OCD know that their actions often do not make sense. They may try to hide their problem from family and friends, and may have trouble keeping a job because of their actions. Without treatment, obsessions and the need to perform rituals can take over a person’s life. OCD is an anxiety disorder that can be life-long. A person with OCD can also recover and then get the illness again, or relapse. This illness affects women and men in equal numbers. Most often, OCD begins during the teenage years or early childhood, although it can start in an adult. For many years, mental health professionals thought of OCD as a rare disease because only a small minority of their patients had the condition. The disorder often went unrecognized because many of those afflicted with OCD, in efforts to keep their repetitive thoughts and behaviors secret, failed to seek treatment. This led to underestimates of the number of people with the illness. Time changes all concepts. “OCD” is no exception. In the seventeenth century, obsessions and compulsions were often described as symptoms of religious melancholy. The Oxford Don, Robert Burton, reported a case in his compendium, the Anatomy of Melancholy(1621: “If he be in a silent auditory, as at a sermon, he is afraid he shall speak aloud and unaware, something indecent, unfit to be said”. In 1660, Jeremy Taylor, bishop of Down and Connor, Ireland, was referring to obsessional doubting when he wrote of “scruples”. (A scruple is trouble where the trouble is over a doubt when doubts are resolved. OCD is recognized as the fourth most common mental disorder following, in order of occurrence, substance abuse, phobias, and major depression (Spengler, Jacobi, 1998). Perhaps part of the reason for the “confusion” is that several disorders manifest ideational processes that are much like the obsessional thinking in OCD. People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also have cognitive processes that are intrusive, repetitive, and exaggerated. The difference lies in how clients view their obsessions. OCD that comes and goes some children will have one obsession or compulsion for a few months and then it will disappear. There may be no obsessions or compulsions for years, and then they might return for no apparent reason. OCD that comes, but never exactly leaves a common pattern is for a person to have a number of obsessions and compulsions which are quite severe, but which then lessen, at least for awhile. Example of OCD that comes and goes: Jody was 6; she had a little “habit”. Before she picked up anything in her hand, she would very lightly touch it once with her index finger. When her parents asked her why, Jody just said that she liked to. There were no other obsessions or compulsions. Although no one mentioned it outside of the family, Jody’s mother and father became worried when Jody’s little sister, age 3 started imitating this habit. There were about to see their family doctor about this when it started to go away and never really came back. Two years later, after no signs of OCD, Jody started counting. She thought her mother, who had...
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