Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD was first discovered in the 14th and 16th centuries by Sigmund Freud. The people thought that the obsessive thoughts were from the devil and it resulted in an exorcism. OCD is a disorder in which one becomes obsessed with certain things and repeatedly performs "rituals" such as cleaning over an object multiple times or checking to see if the stove is off several times before leaving the house.
OCD can run in the family, but it is still undecided where it truly comes from. OCD is involved with the brain, so it is hard to track just where it comes from.
Anatomy and Physiology
Parts of the brain affected:
orbitofrontal cortex, basal ganglia, caudate nucleus, cingulate gyrus, and the thalamus.
Basically, the thalamus will sense something then the caudate nucleus will filter the sense or message then it is sent to the basal ganglia and the cingulate gyrus, but the cingulate gyrus gets stuck on certain thoughts and begins to compulse.
CNS and PNS
- CNS: the brain and spinal cord are the Central Nervous System, and OCD is all about the brain so they are linked.
- PNS: the Peripheral Nervous System is the nerves that carry out CNS, so it is linked to OCD because the brain or the CNS of an obsessive compulsive person will get stuck on a certain thought so the PNS helps that thought come about.
L i Expectancy and Mortality Rate
Research shows that a person with a mental disorder like OCD can lose up to four years of their life that a normal person would have. OCD will never go away, so if you take the right steps and do things to lower your anxiety you can decrease your chances of losing years.
- Have repeated thoughts or pictures in your mind.
- Do the same things over and over again.
- Not being able to control what you think.
- Becoming stressed when repeating things over and over again.
There is no known cure for OCD. You can take certain medications to decrease or even get rid of the symptoms but as soon as you quit taking the medicine the symptoms will come back.
Medications and Therapy
- One medication used for OCD are antidepressants. OCD often times leads to depression.
- Cognitive behavior therapy: teaches you healthy ways to respond to your obsessive thoughts.
- Exposure and response prevention: repeated exposure to obsession and then you are asked to refrain from that activity.
- Group therapy
- Family therapy: reduces family conflicts
Long Term Health Outlook
OCD is a mental health problem, but it can effect your body as well. For example, if you have OCD and you also have anxiety it can hurt your body.
Research is being done at the Yale Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Research Clinic. "The glutamate hypothesis — which states glutamate may play a role in normalizing OCD symptoms — has gained repute in the field." -Christopher Pittenger
Pittenger is also doing another project that is trying to find a drug free way to get rid of anxiety that comes with OCD.