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An estimated four million Americans have Obsessive-compulsive disorder, which includes 1, 000, 000 children and adolescents. These people with OCD are slaves to their rituals, and their rituals begin to take over their lives. Stephanie, an eighteen year old, had trouble with math because of her OC D. If I got to number seventeen on the math test, I would have to tap my pencil seventeen times. (Weiskopf, Catherine. Understanding Obsessive-compulsive disorders. ) Stephanie's situation shows that obsessive-compulsive disorder influences the development of children.
Children and adolescents with OCD end up with emotional and social developmental problems. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an unrelenting pattern of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted ideas or thoughts that repeatedly are on the individuals mind. Typical obsessions are fear of dirt or contamination; concern with order; constantly thinking about certain images, sounds, words, or numbers; and fear of harming a family member or a loved one. Compulsions are preformed intentionally to reduce the anxiety or discomfort brought on by obsessions.
Common compulsions are excessive hand washing, checking to make sure of something repeatedly, arranging items in precise order, counting over and over, and touching certain objects several times. The exact causes of Obsessive-compulsive disorder are unclear, but an adequate amount of evidence shows that the illness is linked to a disturbance in the functioning of the brain. An imbalance of serotonin (a naturally occurring brain chemical) is thought to be a cause of OCD. There is evidence to suggest that a particular circuit in the brain is involved in OCD. Other research has indicated that the volume of certain structures within the brain may be greater in individuals with OCD than in those without the disorder. Psychiatric disorders such as depression, Tourette Syndrome, and anxiety disorders other than OCD are common among family members of children with OCD.
Research suggests that approximately 25 to 30 percent of children and adolescents with OCD have a parent or sibling with the disorder. Research also suggests that for a small percentage of children symptoms may result from bacterial or viral infections. (Adams, Gail B; Burke, Robert W. Children and Adolescents with Obsessive-compulsive disorder: A Primer for Teachers. ) Obsessive-compulsive disorder can also be linked to a specific, usually tragic, life event. OCD may be seen as strange to the public, but in actuality it is an extremely painful disorder that causes emotional and social developmental problems.
Stephanie, age 18, had trouble with math when her OCD was in full effect. If I got to number 17 on the math test, I would have to tap my pencil 17 times. (Weiskopf, Catherine. Understanding Obsessive-compulsive disorders. ) To Stephanie, counting to seventeen was a way to relieve the unwanted obsessions that went through her mind. Giving into the compulsions is not an easy thing to do. Stephanie is emotionally torn between making the anxiety dissipate or fighting her OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder effects her emotional development by not letting her choose.
Stephanie's anxiety becomes too much to deal with and she gives in to her compulsion. OCD makes Stephanie feel as if she is constantly in conflict with herself. My parents have gone through so much because of me. (Weiskopf, Catherine. Understanding Obsessive-compulsive disorders. ) OCD causes emotional trauma within the family. Parents try to help and understand, but in reality the OCD is foreign to them. OCD also effects siblings.
Parents seem to pay more attention to children with Obsessive-compulsive disorder which leads to other siblings resenting the child with an OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder also causes social developmental problems. Stephanie is lucky she has not lost a lot of friends because of OCD. My friends have known me all my life, and OCD is just part of who I am. (Weiskopf, Catherine.
Understanding Obsessive-compulsive disorders. ) A lot of people with OCD are seen as weird or different. Because of their obsessive thoughts and compulsions they become social outcasts. People only see the OCD and not the person with the disorder. There are no cures for this emotionally and socially damaging disorder, but there are treatments that relieve the symptoms of OCD. Exposure and response prevention is a specific form of cognitive behavior therapy which is a treatment that is effect with children. Drugs that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin can significantly decrease the symptoms of OCD.
The first drug approved for the treatment of OCD was the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine (Anafranil). Others that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration are fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and paroxetine (Paxil). Large studies have shown that more than three / quarters of patients are helped by these medications at least a little. (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Obsessive-compulsive Disorders Clinical Research Program. ) Exposure and response prevention is an effective behavior therapy for OCD. In this approach, the patient deliberately and voluntarily confronts the feared object or idea, either directly or by imagination. At the same time the patient is strongly encouraged to refrain from ritualizing, with support and structure provided by the therapist, and possibly by others whom the patient recruits for assistant.
A recent compilation of outcome studies indicated that, of more than 300 OCD patients who were treated by exposure and response prevention, an average of 76 percent still showed clinically significant relief form 3 months to 6 years after the treatment. (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder Clinical Research Program. ) Cognitive-behavioral therapy may also be effective for OCD. It emphasizes changing the beliefs and patterns of a person with an OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an unrelenting pattern of obsessions and compulsions. This disorder effects people both emotionally and socially.
People with an OCD are torn between making their anxiety dissipate or fighting their OCD. There is no cure for OCD, but there are treatments that help alleviate symptoms. Bibliography:
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