Posted: September 6th, 2023
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a disorder that affects millions of people worldwide.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that is characterized by recurrent, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts or obsessions, and repetitive behaviors or compulsions that aim to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsessions. To qualify as a disorder, the obsessions or compulsions must take up a significant amount of time or cause significant distress or impairment in daily life.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) lists the following criteria for OCD:
Presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both
The obsessions or compulsions are time-consuming (take up more than an hour per day) or cause significant distress or impairment in daily life
The obsessions or compulsions are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or other medical condition
There are various treatment options available for OCD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective and evidence-based treatments for OCD. CBT for OCD usually involves exposure and response prevention (ERP), which helps individuals face their fears and learn to tolerate the anxiety without resorting to compulsions. Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also commonly prescribed to help manage the symptoms of OCD.
Cultural views of OCD can vary. In some cultures, OCD symptoms may be viewed as a sign of weakness or a lack of willpower. In other cultures, there may be a lack of awareness or understanding of OCD as a mental health condition.
The psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral theoretical perspectives offer different views on OCD and its treatment. Psychodynamic theory suggests that OCD may be the result of unresolved conflicts stemming from early childhood experiences. Treatment may involve exploring these unconscious conflicts and working to resolve them through techniques such as free association and dream analysis. In contrast, cognitive-behavioral theory focuses on the role of cognitive distortions and faulty beliefs in the development and maintenance of OCD. Treatment may involve identifying and changing these distorted beliefs and thought patterns through techniques such as exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring.
Having that, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by recurrent, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts or obsessions, and repetitive behaviors or compulsions that aim to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsessions. Treatment can include cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications. Cultural views on OCD can vary, and psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral theoretical perspectives offer different views on OCD and its treatment.
Abramowitz, J. S. (2018). The practice of cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: An overview and some new developments. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 55, 11-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2017.09.008
Viswanath, B., Narayanaswamy, J. C., & Reddy, Y. C. J. (2021). Cultural aspects of obsessive-compulsive disorder. In J. F. Leckman & D. J. Stein (Eds.), Advances in the neuroscience of OCD (pp. 307-318). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65962-4_17