Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Essay

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One of the most prevalent mental illnesses that can be found in the world today is obsessive-compulsive disorder, more commonly known as OCD. Many have OCD, ranging from those who suffer from plaguing obsessions to those who have an additional need to perform certain rituals, or compulsions, in order for those obsessions to be abated for just a few moments. However, the term “OCD” has become too common a word in the English lexicon, having come to simply mean someone who is highly organized or a perfectionist—and so it is necessary to first establish what obsessive-compulsive disorder really is before moving on to possible treatments, such as behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy (medicine), and psychosurgery, along with the reasons as to why behavioral therapy would generally be the best choice of treatment for OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental illness under the umbrella term of anxiety disorders. It is characterized by recurrent and unwanted thoughts (obsessions), which are unavoidable, no matter how much one tries to suppress them. In addition, OCD is also characterized by repetitive actions (compulsions), usually rituals that are performed with the hope of abating the incessant thoughts and anxieties, though often not permanently. Hence, people with OCD often seem as if they are bent on doing something repeatedly and exactly (Mayo Clinic, 2011). The unwanted thoughts can be doubts, such as one’s worry about whether or not they had remembered to lock their door, or they can be fears, such as one’s fear of contamination. Many ordinary people have doubts and fears such as those, but a person with OCD will have them on a much more extreme level, and will feel much more anxiety because of them. Signs of OCD are, in addition to the regular signs of high distress, such as fidgeting or inability to concentrate on the task at hand, also rituals and actions

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