Explanation and Description of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder -.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD as it is commonly referred to as, is an anxiety disorder and a potentially disabling condition. OCD sufferers become trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts known as obsessions and behaviors known as compulsions. These obsessions and compulsions are both senseless and distressing and very difficult to overcome. Most people (over 90 percent) who have OCD have both obsessions and compulsions, but individuals with either element can be considered sufferers of the disease (Mental Help Net, 2003). Obsessive-compulsive cases range from mild to severe, where the more severe cases can potentially destroy an individual's capacity to function at work, school or at home.
The obsession element of OCD consists of irrational and unwanted thoughts or impulses that repeatedly occur in an individual's mind. There is an inner conflict where the person knows these thoughts are irrational, but on another level still fears that they might be true. Trying to avoid the conflict creates great anxiety, which usually leads the individual to give in to their obsessive thoughts leading to compulsive behavior.
Compulsions are repetitive rituals such as hand washing, counting, checking, hoarding, or arranging. An individual will repeats these actions, which creates a feeling of momentary relief but lacks a feeling of satisfaction or a sense of completion. OCD victims usually feel that they must perform these compulsive rituals or something bad will happen, or simply that they will not feel at ease until they do.
A survey conducted in the early 1980s by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) provided surprising data regarding the frequency of OCD. The NIMH survey showed that OCD affects more than two percent of the population, meaning that OCD is more common than such mental illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or panic disorder (Brain.