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Obsessive compulsive disorders

Obsessive compulsive disorders  is the experience of obsessions (intrusive uncontrollable thoughts, impulses, or images that produce anxiety) or compulsions (the need to perform acts or behaviours or to dwell on thoughts to reduce anxiety). Although obsessions and compulsions can occur separately, they frequently occur together.

Obsessions: An obsession is an intrusive and repetitive anxiety-arousing through or image. The person may realize that the thought is irrational, but he/she cannot keep it from arising over and over again.

Compulsion is the need to perform acts or to dwell on mental acts repetitively. Distress or anxiety occurs if the behaviour is not performed of if it is not done “correctly”.  The three most common compulsions among a sample of adolescents involved excessive or ritualized washing, repeating ritual (such as going in and out of a door and getting up and down from a chair), and checking behaviour (door and appliances)

Did you know?

  • Prevalence of obsessive compulsive-disorder have included 1-3%  of the general population.
  • Equally common in males and females
  • Two-thirds of individuals have an age of onset before 25 years with a mean age of about 22 years

Causes of Obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD)

The causes of OCD is some way from being understood. There is a increase genetic predisposition in first degree relatives and a greater link between monozygoticas compared to dizygotic twins. There is also a genetic association between Tourette’s syndrome, chonic motor tic disorder and OCD. Personality disorder is said to predispose to the development of OCD (anankastic personality type). Some other psychoanalytic theories suggest that OCD may represent a defence against anxiety associated with sexual and aggressive impulses.


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