What Exactly is OCD?
Welcome back to Mental Marvels-where the focus is brain behavior and mental phenomenons.
Most people have either seen or heard of the T.V. show Monk. Monk stars Tony Shalhoub as the brilliant detective Adrian Monk, who happens to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When watching Monk, one gets a small taste of what it is like to live with OCD, but what exactly is OCD?
Definition of OCD
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is defined by mayoclinic.com as:
"an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). With obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may realize that your obsessions aren't reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your stressful feelings."
Symptoms of OCD
The symptoms of OCD vary from many different compulsions and obsessions:
- Fear of dirt or contamination
- Invasive thoughts
- Panic Attacks
- Obsessive counting, sorting, or mind games
- Compulsions and rituals
- Inappropriate fear
- Fear of hurting someone else
- Need for order, symmetry, or exactness
- Need for assurance
- Repeating certain actions and speech
How Common is OCD?
In the U.S., approximately 3.3 million people have OCD. Nearly 1/3 to 1/2 of those who have OCD started developing it during childhood.
What Are the Causes?
- OCD can be a result of changes in the body's natural chemistry or brain functions.
- OCD can also stem from behaviors learned over time.
- OCD could be caused by an insufficient level of serotonin