Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

By: Nurani Uddin & Eman Haj

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
‡ Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, (also known as OCD), is a type of anxiety disorder distinguished by recurring, unwanted thoughts and/or repetitive compulsions or actions .
Such Obsessions are :
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Such Compulsions are: Fear of causing harm to another *Cleaning/washing Fear of making a mistake *Checking Fear of behaving unmannerly *Arranging/organizing Need for symmetry *Collecting/hoarding Excessive doubts *Counting /repeating Religious and sexual concerns

*Touching /tapping

What is the cause of OCD?
‡ It is not fully understood why some people have this anxiety disorder. Stress alone does not cause OCD; however, a stressful event like the death of a loved one, birth of a child, or divorce can trigger the onset of the disorder. It is safe to say that a person is born with a genetic predisposition to having OCD, which is often dormant until some stressful event occurs and triggers the OCD into an active phase. OCD runs in families. Many kids with OCD have another person in their family who has OCD or another type of anxiety. Exactly how OCD is passed on in a family is not yet known, but scientists are trying to learn about genes that may get passed on that make people more sensitive to worry problems like OCD.

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What are the signs and symptoms
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ OCD symptoms involving obsessions may include: Fear of being contaminated by shaking hands or by touching objects others have touched Intense distress when objects aren't orderly or facing the right way Impulses to shout obscenities in inappropriate situations Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hand Hair loss or bald spots because of hair pulling

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OCD symptoms involving compulsions may include:
Hand washing until your skin becomes raw Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they're locked Counting in certain patterns

The Physiological Truth
‡ OCD is thought by many to be a physical or biological disease. Researchers have identified specific areas of the brain that are affected: the orbitofrontal cortex, cingulate gyrus, and striatum. Brain imaging studies indicate that these areas are overactive in people with OCD. The disorder involves neurotransmitters -- brain chemicals that carry impulses from one nerve cell to another -that behave abnormally in the affected areas of the brain. Serotonin is one important neurotransmitter involved in the disorder, as well as dopamine and glutamine.

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What are the Effects?
‡ The severity of the problem varies a lot. Obsessional problems can and do take over peoples lives, making regular employment or family life impossible. People find they have little or no time for anything other than a pattern of checking or worrying or washing. When troubled by their OCD people experience high levels of discomfort. Sometimes this is anxiety, sometimes it is feeling miserable or depressed, other times it is just a very unpleasant feeling that things are not right.

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The Treatments
‡ Standard treatment includes drug therapy, behavior therapy, or a combination of both. It was commonly believed that a combination of medication and behavior therapy is most effective in treating OCD, but new research has shown that behavioral therapy is most effective. Medications in two different categories are available to treat OCD These medications help increase the brain's balance of serotonin ² a chemical linked to OCD. Behavior therapy teaches people with OCD to confront their fears and reduce the anxiety without performing the rituals. Behavior therapy, called exposure and ritual prevention, is effective for 80% of people with OCD.

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Who gets OCD?

‡ Over four million people in the U.S. suffer from OCD, or up to one in every 50 Americans. OCD affects men, women, and children, as well as people of all races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. ‡ OCD can start at any age although most commonly in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. It is a waxing and waning disorder, but left untreated the disorder can escalate in severity.

OCD THE FACTS
‡ Young adults between 18 and 24 years of age are at the highest risk for developing OCD. However, many adults with OCD say their symptoms started when they were children or adolescents. ‡ Men tend to develop OCD at an earlier age (usually between age 14 and 19) than women (usually between age 21 ). Among adults, women report having OCD slightly more frequently than men. ‡ Over time, OCD symptoms can change. For example, you might start off with washing your hands compulsively, but later develop excessive checking behaviors and actually stop compulsive washing altogether.

Control your ³OCD´ don't let it control you because it can take over your life.

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