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Impacts of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on Human Life

OCD Essay: Introduction

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by obsession and compulsions. Obsession is undesirable reiterative thoughts, feelings, ideas, and behaviors (Rachman & Silva, 2009). Compulsions are mental acts that an individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly (American Psychiatric Association, 2017). Mostly, the patients are aware of the meaningless of their obsessions, and turning back to their routines gets hard. Until the end of the 19th century, the obsessive-compulsive disorder was thought of as depression and types of psychosis according to different cultures. As Shorter suggests (1997), in the history of psychology, this disorder mentioned first by Esquirol, who found the Prozac. However, one can suggest that the patients who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder should find new hobbies, new business, and new places for themselves to get better as soon as possible.

Body Paragraphs

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not a common mental illness. Studies have shown that between more than 1 percent and less than 5 percent suffer from this disorder. This percentage increase depending on the in-patients number. The disorder first appears in childhood, youth, and early adulthood. Some of the studies in the adult population have shown there is no difference between men and women, and the approximate prevalence rate is %1.8 (Piacentini et al., 2007). Lifetime prevalence differs from country to country. For instance, the lowest rates have been seen in Taiwan (%0.5-%0,9) and India (%0.6). This rate approaches between %2.6 and %3.2 in Northern and Central Europe (Okasha, 2000). The lifetime prevalence of the obsessive-compulsive disorder is thought to be approximately %2.

A person who has obsessive-compulsive disorder can understand something is going wrong in their life. In general, they consult a physician because they can not prevent their recurring behavior, or they can not get rid of their thoughts. As an example of these behaviors is hand washing, organizing and cleaning everything, showering for hours, praying, counting, and double-checking a door is locked (American Psychiatric Association, 2017). For diagnosing the obsessive-compulsive disorder, there is no need for using X-Rays, a blood sample, or other laboratory tests. The doctor evaluates the patients' symptoms and asks questions about their situation and makes a diagnosis. The patient should not expect to recover from this disease by themselves. There are three options to recover. One of them is cognitive behavior therapy, the other is medication, and the prognosis is the last one.

If an obsessive-compulsive disorder is untreated, the course is usually chronic, often with waxing and waning symptoms (American Psychiatric Association, 2017). In the process of time, all of these behaviors, especially compulsions, become like rituals. The patient follows their specific life rules, and this is recurring consistently. Compulsions cause strong anxiety and make the new obsessions. Therefore, for the patients, all these new obsessions seem for real. If a patient is diagnosed in their childhood, it can lead to a lifetime of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Furthermore, compulsions are more easily diagnosed in children than obsessions. The main reason for this, compulsions are more observable rather than obsessions, and there is a difference in different developmental stages (American Psychiatric Association, 2017).

Functional consequences of obsessive-compulsive disorder can be both psychical and mental. Also, they can be short-term or long-term effects. Patients' daily life, social activities, and even human relations can be affected by this disease. Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder spend at least one hour in a day with their physical obsessions, and spending their time like that makes their life more stressful (Piacentini et al., 2007). They need to clean, organize everything, and every detail, take a shower for hours until they are sure about their cleaning, avoid touching anywhere to protect themselves from being infected, and double-checking a door. These are some examples of physical consequences. Due to their obsessions, they avoid socializing, can not carry out their daily responsibilities like school or business, and they can not have normal human relations. As a short-term effect, they may have some difficulties at school, home, or work, and they can have trouble with their human relations. The long-term effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder are poor-quality life, suffering any pain that they do not even know, and they include major depression and immense anxiety.

Patients with the obsessive-compulsive disorder generally have another psychological disorder (comorbidity). A large number of adult patients, approximately %76 have types of anxiety as social anxiety, %63 have panic disorder, %41 have major depression, and any specific phobias. Some of the studies about comorbidity are shown as approximate %34 of patients who suffer from excessive alcohol use, %32 major depression, %19 panic disorder, and %10 bipolar affective disorder.

There are some risk factors about this disorder as other diseases. Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects children, young, and adults without discrimination. The main reasons for obsessive-compulsive disorder are not entirely known, but the risk factors include age, genetics, environment, and brain functions. This disorder can develop as early as preschool age and as late as after the '40s. The scientific studies have shown that people with first-degree relatives who have obsessive-compulsive disorder are at high risk for developing the same disorder in themselves. Traumas that happened in patients' childhood triggers the obsessive-compulsive disorders' symptoms. Also, studies have shown that people who have the obsessive-compulsive disorder have some differences in their frontal cortex and subcortical structures of their brains.

New research about obsessive-compulsive disorder have shown that this disease diagnosis can be detected both at an early age and elder ages. These days, while all over the world is the lockdown because of COVID-19, it can be seen easily. Because of this situation, people have avoided socializing, and this causes the obsessions the recur. Other researches and studies have shown that, in ages between 14 and 19, women are more diagnosed rather than men, and the average anxiety score is higher in women. On the other side, in puberty and childhood, men are more diagnosed rather than women. The reason for this situation is the age of beginning to work is earlier in men (M. Crawford, 2012).

OCD Essay: Conclusion

Obsessive-compulsive patients are individuals who require more sensitivity. Patients can affect their lives and also affect their families' and friends' lives. They most likely to ruin their lives, make it more stressful and harmful for themselves. They should be aware of their recurring behaviors or obsessions, and also, they should know they are forcing themselves to do these behaviors. Avoid to recurring obsessions will be helpful for them, and the main reason for the anxiety and compulsions should be found. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a disease that can not be gotten rid of by itself or patients themselves. Consulting a doctor or physician must be the priority. According to their situation, the doctor will decide which treatment option is better for them. The patients who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder should find new hobbies, new business, and new places for themselves to get better as soon as possible.

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2017). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: Dsm-5. Arlington, VA.

Crawford, M. (2012). Transformations: women, gender & psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Piacentini, J., Langley, A., & Roblek, T. (2007). Session 8: Continuing ERP/Differentiating OCD vs. non-OCD Behaviors. Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Childhood OCD, 79–83.

Rachman, S., & Silva, P. D. (2009). Obsessive-compulsive disorder: the facts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shorter, E. (1997). A history of psychiatry: from the era of the asylum to the age of Prozac. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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