Rebecca, a fictional character, is a 38-year-old female who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She is married with a son who is 10-years-old. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. She works in the retail business. Rebecca’s parents are divorced and she lived with her mother for most of her childhood. She has struggled with OCD behavior and anxiety since she was a teenager.
Rebecca suffers from compulsive skin picking. She is constantly popping, picking, and scratching herself to the point that she makes herself bleed. Sometimes it gets so bad that the area where the wound is will get infected. She has a scab on her head that she has had for 30 years from when she had chicken pox as a child. She scratched it and picked it so much that it has never gone away. One time she scratched and picked it so bad that it got infected and gave her a huge knot on the back of her neck. Rebecca will also stand in front of a mirror of hours picking at her skin. She has hundreds of scars all over her body. She hides her body from her husband. She will not let him see her in the light. She covers herself with long sleeved shirts and never wears dresses or shorts. She feels ashamed of herself for making her body look so awful.
Rebecca also suffers from compulsive hand washing. She has to go through a ritual very time she washes her hands. First, she has to set out two paper towels next to the sink. One is to turn on the faucet and one is to turn it off. When she washes her hands, she has to first make sure that the water is scolding hot. This is so that she knows that the germs are being killed. When she starts washing, she first scrubs with soap. She uses a little scrub brush for her hands and a toothpick to clean her nails. Then she rinses her hands and then washes again. This time she washes with soap and two squirts of bleach, she keeps a special bottle of bleach with a pump on the sink, and than rinses. After she is finished rinsing her hands, she uses the second paper towel to turn off the faucet. She then dries her hands with only paper towels because regular towels, she feels, are infected with germs. Rebecca does this routine at least 12-15 times a day. When she is not washing her hands, she is constantly using hand sanitizer. She goes through at least 3-5 bottles of sanitizer bottles per week. She also goes through at least 3-5 rolls of paper towels a week. From her hand washing compulsion, she has very dry, cracked and sometimes bleeding hands. Rebecca know that her hand washing is becoming out of control, because she can see how much it affects her daily life.
Rebecca suffers from two obsessions. The first obsession is with the fear of germs. She cannot clean anything without wear rubber gloves. She will not touch public trashcans, restroom handles, toilet seats or handles, etc. She also will not touch anything that has someone else’s saliva on it. This prevents her from cleaning the dishes because the dishes have half eaten food, or used silverware on the plate. When she fears that she has been “contaminated” with germs her heart beats faster and she feels sick to her stomach. Rebecca and her husband have many fights over this because he feels that she is not showing their son very good etiquette. Her husband see’s Rebecca pushing her ways onto their son. Rebecca has missed many day of work because of her fear of “contamination”.
Rebecca’s other obsession is with hair. She feels that it is “contaminated” with germs. She cannot stand to see hair in the sink, around the toilet or in the shower. She has to shave her husband and sons hair so that they cannot leave stray hairs around the house. She has kept her hair short since she was about 9-years-old. She carries a lint brush everywhere she goes. This affects her son because he really wants to get a dog, but Rebecca will not let him because she fears that the hair will “contaminate” the house.
Rebecca also has reoccurring intrusive thoughts of death and...
References: Dermatillomania: Compulsive Skin Picking (2010). Retrieved April 18, 2010, from http://www.brainphysics.com/skin-picking.php
Medication for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (2010). Retrieved April 12, 2010, from http://www.brainphysics.com/medications.php
International OCD Foundation. (2009) What You Need to Know About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. [Brochure]. International OCD Foundation: Author
Markarian, Y., Larson, M. J., Aldea, M. A., Baldwin, S. A., Good, D., Berkeljon, A., Murphy, T. K., Storch, E. A., McKay, D. (2009). Multiple Pathways to Functional Impairment in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 78-88. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2009.09.005
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author
Rector, N. A. (2001). Obsessive-compulsive disorder a guide for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder and their families: an information guide. Toronto, Ont: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Eddy MF, & Walbroehl GS. (1998). Recognition and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. American Family Physician. 57 (7), 1623-8
Please join StudyMode to read the full document