Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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For my I-Search I have chosen to write about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I have been interested in the disorder ever since I came across a woman with OCD in goodwill while I was in St. Louis. I was with my cousin and sister at the time and we were relaxing in chairs near the bathroom while waiting for our parents to be done finding a brand new, old pair of jeans. While relaxing in the chairs, my cousin and I noticed a girl go into the bathroom, but not close the door all the way and then we heard her spraying something. We immediately looked at each other with the most confused faces and wanted to know what was going on in there. When she walked out of the bathroom we noticed she was in a completely new wardrobe, so being the nosey person that I am I needed to know what she did in the bathroom. When we walked into the bathroom we saw clothing in the garbage and it was obvious that something had been sprayed in the toilet because it was foaming. We still didn’t quite get what was going on so we went to search for the lady that we saw in the bathroom to see what she was up to. We then spotted her running around the store like a crazy woman and sorting the clothes by color while putting on hats, scarves and boots. While we were checking out, I saw her walking out of the store looking very suspicious, but then I noticed something that made me realize she might have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. While the woman was walking out of the store she walked past a column, but then came back to it and tapped it a certain amount of times and then proceeded to walk out the store. Since then I have always wondered about OCD and have even met a few people with very mild cases of it. I know a few things about it, but want to learn a lot more.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a condition that affects thousands of people around the world, every hour of every day. OCD causes people to do certain things, such as touching a doorknob numerous times, over and over again. People do these rituals to ease the thoughts of obsessions and compulsions that occur in their heads over and over again. If they don’t do a certain ritual it will plague them throughout the day and cause them to obsess over the thought. The rituals that people exhibit differ greatly from person to person and are as diverse as the thoughts of two different minds. With the help of modern treatments and therapy people are able to cut back on the amounts of rituals they perform daily and how often they think about them. I am also fairly certain that many daily routines throughout a person’s day such as combing your hair or brushing your teeth are minor symptoms of OCD that many people do not even notice.

With my research I want to look into OCD with much more detail. I want to learn what causes OCD, what different affects it has, and what different treatments are available. I think that it will be interesting to learn about the affects OCD causes in people and the different rituals that are performed and also what specifically causes it and what it does to the brain. Lastly I want to know what is done to combat the obsession and compulsions that it causes; I want to know what treatments are used to help people with this disorder. In order to learn more on the topic I decided to interview a professional in the field. Judy Kopka is an assistant professor who teaches mental health nursing and gerontology nursing who also takes care of patients on a mental health unit. I first asked professor Kopka what causes a person to develop OCD. She replied that anxiety is the primary cause, and that OCD can also be triggered by trauma or a sudden loss. OCD is also often a combination of factors with a predisposing genetic or hereditary condition combined with upbringing stress, and individual personality. Next I asked what some of the common compulsions that she sees at work are like, she replied that the most common compulsion she sees is hand washing. The other common compulsions...
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