Ocd What is Obsessive-compulsive disorder? Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the anxiety disorders and is potentially disabling condition according to national institute of mental health, NIMH (2000). Individuals with OCD become trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviors that can be senseless and distressing but are extremely hard to over come. Such as checking things repeatedly (e.g. doors, locks and stoves), constant counting either in ones head or outwardly, etc. Most of theses obsessions are persistent fears that harm may come to self or a loved one, or an unreasonable concern with becoming contaminated, also excessive need for perfection. According to NIMH (2000), sometimes the obsessions are of a violent or a sexual nature, or concern illness.

Although once thought to be rare, OCD afflicts as many as five million Americans or one in fifty. The disorder is found uniformly in men, women, children and people of all races and socio-economic backgrounds. (Maidment 1999) According to NIMH (2000), OCD usually begins in adolescence or early adult hood, it may begin in the early childhood years. Onset age is earlier in males between ages 6 and 15 years and between ages 20 and 29 in females. In most cases onset is gradual but some acute onset cases have been noted. Most people with OCD struggle to hide their illness for fear of thought of being outcast, fear of medication and fear of facing ones fears in behavior therapy.

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Usually people hide their illness because of feeling shame for doing/thinking such bizarre things (Susan F, OC foundation, 1999) They are often successful in concealing their disorder. More often than not they are successful in concealing their obsessive-compulsive symptoms from friends and co-workers. An unfortunate consequence of this secrecy is that people usually do not receive professional help until years after the onset of their disease. By that time, they may have learned to work their lives around the rituals. Treatment for OCD usually comes down to two most effective treatments, which are drug therapy and behavior therapy.

It is common that the most effective of these the two can be used together. The most effective medications are the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, and Zoloft as well as the Tricyclic Anafranil. (Saxena, 1999) These medications generally help but decreased symptoms are any where from 40%-95% success, but each individual is varies. The medications can take anywhere from six to twelve weeks to start showing effect. According to NIMH (2000) the primary behavior therapy uses for OCD treatment is exposure and response prevention.

This type is usually most effective. Most people with OCD struggle to banish their unwanted, obsessive thought and to prevent them selves from engaging in compulsive behavior. This resistance can lead to a crippling disorder, with OCD so sever that time consuming rituals take over the sufferers lives, making it impossible for them to continue activities outside the home. Psychology.