Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive thoughts that lead to repetitive behaviors (Nestadt et. al, 2010). Even though individuals with the disorder are able to acknowledge that their thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational, they are unable to ignore or dismiss them. The two symptom groups of OCD include obsessive thoughts, which induce compulsive actions. Obsessive thoughts may include the fear of uncleanness from germs, dying, or harming oneself or others.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder has a noticeable effect on the individuals suffering from it. Compulsions generally relate to an overwhelming fear or anxiety of what may happen if an obsession is not fulfilled. The anxiety induced by …show more content…

Studies conducted by the Hopkins OCD Family Study have revealed a complex pattern of inheritance potentially involving multiple genes (Nestadt et. al, 2010). The most substantial supporting evidence of this theory is the effectiveness of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (S.S.R.I.s) in controlling the obsessions and compulsions (Goodman et. al, 1989). Also, the study of neuroimaging studies has led to many leading theories suggesting the patterns of activity that cause obsessive thoughts and behaviors arise from failed straito-thalamic inhibition (Nestadt et. al, 2010). Consequently, the genes affecting development, connectivity, and neurotransmission have become the central point of research into the genetic epidemiology of …show more content…

Author David Adams offers an insight into the daily struggle of OCD in his book Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought. Adam’s narrative begins with a one-night stand during his freshman year of college. The next day when a friend inquired about the events of the night, he said that he had had unprotected sex with the girl. “You could have AIDS,” said the friend. Though it was highly unlikely, Adams tells of how his friend’s words became a fixed thought in his mind. It would not go away. The next twenty years of his life were spent in fear that he had or would contract the HIV virus and filled with the compulsions to reassure himself that he had not. Adams called the National AIDS Helpline so often that the operators began to recognize his voice. He had blood tests run on a monthly basis and he felt compelled to examine every red stain that he came in contact with to determine whether it may be blood containing AIDS. There was a specific quote from Adam’s book that stuck with me and helped to put the struggle of the individuals who suffer from OCD into perspective. Adams says, “The snowflake of a single intrusive thought had become a blizzard that blew the snow into every corner of my mind and laid down a blanket that muffled every

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