OCD is a chronic mental health condition that is usually associated with obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour. An obsession is an unwanted, unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person’s mind and results in anxiety. A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that a person feels compelled to perform to try and avert or undo the effect of the obsession. An example of an obsession and compulsion may be someone who is obsessively scared of catching a disease may feel compelled every time they go to the toilet they have to have a shower afterwards.
OCD usually starts in adult life, with men tending to report earlier symptoms than women. However OCD symptoms can develop at anytime, including childhood. The symptoms of OCD can range between mild a severe. For example some people may spend about an hour a day engaged in obsessive compulsive thinking, for other suffering with a more severe case of OCD the condition can completely take over their life. Suffers of OCD can very often go through intermittent periods of depression. Suffers of OCD often acknowledge that they suffer with the condition but are unable to control the unwanted thoughts or rituals.
There are four main explanations to OCD, these are biological explanations which states that the condition is often hereditary and the gene make up of a person has a part to play in the condition. Another possible explanation is the psychodynamic explanation, this theory states that the person is fixated at the anal stage in the psychosexual stages. There is a behavioral theory, which suggests that OCD is an extreme form of ‘learned avoidance’ behaviour. Finally a cognitive theory that states OCD’s are the result of faulty and irrational ways of thinking at an extreme level. For this essay I have chosen to focus on the biological explanation and the psychodynamic approach.
The biological explanations...