Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Essay Example
Did you know Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder affects approximately 2.3% of our population (“What is OCD”)? Individuals who endure living with the disease, which is also known as OCD, face not only daily struggles but lifelong ones as well. Males tend to be diagnosed in their late teen years, and women in their early twenties (“What is OCD”). A doctor can diagnose a patient with the disorder at any age and can be diagnosed with any or multiple of the classifications, but one will learn ways to overcome the disease with treatment and other guidance from physicians.
Being diagnosed with OCD can be a very difficult and lengthy process which includes multiple doctor visits. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder where the individual has recurring and unwanted thoughts, sensations and ideas by repeating a task and becoming driven by the task (“What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?”). It is the fourth most common mental illness to be diagnosed with throughout the population (Barrett & Healy, 2003 as cited in Keyes, Carly, et al. 177-84). Firstly, the physician must do a physical exam to determine if the patient has OCD, during that they narrow down your symptoms or look for other complications.
Secondly, the individual goes through lab tests, which can include blood count, thyroid check and a drug screening. Lastly, you must have an evaluation performed by a psychiatrist, which includes discussing your feelings and thoughts and having them study your behavioral patterns and even reaching out to your close friends and family. The doctor usually has the individual tell them about their fears and any rituals they may feel inclined to do as a symptom of the disorder. To even consider the thought of having OCD you must first experience symptoms and feel the need to seek out the help of a physician.
The symptoms of the disease include compulsions such as cleaning, repeating, checking, arranging, and mental compulsions (“What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?”). These symptoms are tasks that need repetition to avoid stress on the individual, but in return, the cycle just continues, and the stress grows. For example, the cleaning aspect stems from the fear of germs, and some individuals spend most of their day cleaning their belongings or themselves.
Repeating is the action of saying a phrase over and over or repeating a particular task in fear harm will occur if they do not complete the repetition. For instance, some patients develop the fear that they forgot to do a task in which they begin doing rituals to guarantee they did not leave a pot on the hot stove or that they unplugged the iron. “Some people repeatedly retrace driving routes to be sure they have not hit anyone (“What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?).” When the individual is feeling uncomfortable, they may begin putting certain objects in a particular order that helps them feel more comfortable. The last compulsion is obsessive thoughts which happen in one’s mind, including saying something in your head to prevent anxiety. Through all the symptoms individuals face living with OCD there are also different types depending on the symptoms and the severity.
When being diagnosed with OCD there are multiple different types a doctor can diagnose a patient with having depending on the severity of their symptoms. One of the main types is checking which includes checking things hundreds of times a day and letting it consume your life. Consequently, people will check to make sure lights are off or doors are locked for hours during their everyday life. Another type of the disease is hoarding which means the individual is unable to throw away useless items. Rumination is the obsession and focuses on wide-ranging, philosophical topics which could include what happens after death (“What is obsessive-compulsive disorder?”).
Intrusive thoughts are also a classification of OCD these include violent thoughts that sometimes involve hurting close friends and family. The thoughts are not the choice of the person, and it tends to cause great stress, meaning they are unlikely to follow through with these thoughts. Finally, the last symptom is symmetry and orderliness which is the obsession of objects being lined up perfectly in their place. These types of the disease are usually diagnosed in the late teen to early adult years, but there are cases where children show symptoms and are diagnosed early on.
To diagnose a young child with OCD the symptoms must show they are harming the child’s everyday life. For instance, children generally do not tell others about the behaviors caused by the disorder, and they sometimes hide the things they do. Many parents begin to notice signs of the disorder in their children when their child seems overly worried and are doing rituals throughout their daily life (“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”). Being diagnosed with the disorder can be nerve-racking especially for children, so the doctors and parents tend to work with the child directly to ensure they understand the diagnosis. The activities of OCD in children involve hand washing or checking doors for at least 1 hour a day (“OCD in Children”). The rituals in the children are often different depending on the age of the child.
Younger children will have specific rituals around their meals, bathing, and bedtime (“OCD in Children”). As children begin school, they start to base their rituals around games and sports they perform with other children. As children begin their teen years, they begin to collect objects and their OCD symptoms begin to get stronger. Physicians diagnose OCD in young children by doing a mental health evaluation, and the child must show compulsions that are severe and continuous. Children begin going to treatment where the psychologist explains what OCD is to the child to make sure they understand the diagnosis (“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”). OCD in children includes some of the same treatments that adults will go through.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not necessarily a curable disorder, but there are multiple ways to get your symptoms to be more manageable through treatment. One way to manage your symptoms is with medications including antidepressants. The medications given to the individual may cause side effects, so the patient should continue to be observed from a doctor. “Antidepressants aren’t considered addictive, but sometimes physical dependence (which is different from addiction) can occur (“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”).” For the most part, this means you should not stop your medication without consultation from your doctor to avoid withdrawal-like symptoms. Another treatment used for OCD is deep brain stimulation, which is an alternative treatment for the disorder. Doctors recorded symptoms began to improve within six months of the procedure (Aydin Sabri, et al.). Psychotherapy is another form of treatment; it is also referred to as cognitive behavioral therapy is also an option which means exposing the individual to the feared object or obsession. The therapist will give the patient healthy ways of coping with anxiety and gradually help them overcome their fear.
Overall the mental illness known as Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be a challenge to anyone who has the disease, whether you are a young child or an adult. Being diagnosed may be a lengthy process, but it will help you find the right care and medication you need to make sure you are aware of the lifestyle that comes with the disease. A doctor can diagnose a patient with the disorder at any age and they can be diagnosed with any or multiple of the classifications but will learn many ways to cope and try to overcome the disease with treatment. Many individuals do not realize how complex and mentally draining this disorder can be to one’s daily life, so it can be difficult for others to understand the struggles faced with this diagnosis.