Obsessive compulsive disorder often abbreviated as OCD refers to a condition that is marked by compulsive rituals and obsessive thoughts and this disorder is said to affect anybody regardless of race, gender, geographic location and age. This condition can affect an individual up to the extent of causing disability. Some of the symptoms and signs that are common in an individual with this type of disorder include panic which an individual develops when he is washing his hands and there is no soap, the fear is that he may get germs as a result.
The individual may avoid shaking hands with new acquaintances, they may spend a significant amount of time with a hand sanitizer just to be able to confirm that they hands are clean and free from germs. Some other symptoms that are known for this disorder include the fear that one might have hurt somebody in a traffic jam, the doubts about locking the door, skin lesion due to the constant picking up of skin, avoidance of situations that trigger obsessions and replaying of pornographic messages in the mind every time an individual is alone.
There are so many other symptoms that are attributed to OCD but the major ones which are normally so visible are the ones that have been indicated. There are several explanations that have been developed to explain the OCD development. One of the most common explanations is the psychosocial explanation. This explanation bases its arguments in the development of the social cognitive part of the individual. It describes the OCD condition to have its development in the situations of the individual which affect the mind (Myers, 2006 pp 56-76).
It describes Obsessions are persistent and recurrent images or thoughts that occur in the mind of the individual and cannot be referred anymore while compulsive refers to the urge of an individual to strongly do an act which he perceives it necessary so that he can avoid danger. Obsessive compulsive disorder often occurs in young children and those in the adolescent stage. It can devastating especially for the adolescents because they make them to always have a lot of stress and impairs the psychosocial development. The disorder also has an effect on the family members because of the nature the child or the adolescent is taking.
Although there are so many proofs that this disorder has medications, the cognitive behavioural theory is said to be the most effective way of solving this problem. This therapy involves aiding the individual who has this condition to be able to tolerate situations that are provoking and can make them very angry, not necessarily by use of the compulsive behavior. The individual can be exposed to cognitive training, psycho education so that they can learn and identify ways of keeping them from the thinking they have attached to themselves.
Experts have argued that behavioral therapy has proved to be the most effective way of managing OCD. It uses a technique known as ‘exposure and response prevention’’ technique (ERP). The technique involves learning to tolerate or withstand the anxiety that may come as a result of not doing or conducting the ritual behavior. For instance, a person may go a head and mildly touch a door lock which he or she perceives to be contaminated. The response prevention here will be to avoid washing the hand.
This will lead the person to fairly make the situation of not washing the hand after touching the door lock a habit and eventually realizes that the anxiety level goes down considerably (Seligman E, 1995 pp 109-243). This method of treatment is meant to empower the victims by making them realize that they are able to make their own choices. This is because by taking the responsibility of making a choice ones sense of self efficacy is improved tremendously (Jonathan, 2003 pp 89-102) Experts suggest that in the treatment of Obsessive- Behavioral Therapy should not involve small doses as well as going for a quick fix.
They however advise that taking responsibility for this disease should be given priority rather than looking or expecting a quick fix. This is because cognitive behavioral therapy presumes that everybody has irrational thoughts hence the treatment is based on the faith of the therapist and the ability of the people to differentiate being irrational and rational (Jonathan, 2003 pp 89-102). The ERP has been demonstrated to be the most effective OCD treatment. Medics have proved that by combining this method of treatment with psychotropic medication is the most effective.
This is because recent studies have reported that simultaneously administering of an antibiotic, D-Cycloserian can substantially improve the effectiveness of the exposure and response prevention (Fireman et al, 2001 pp 78-100). The ERP is not the only treatment that is known for OCD but the bio psychosocial approach is also a good approach in assessing and treating OCD. Myers in his book argues that this method involves treating the biochemistry that is responsible for causing the symptoms, the particular causes of obsessions, and the external factors like gamily members who worsen the condition.
Reference Fireman B, Koran M, Leventhal L, Jacobson A, (2001): The prevalence of clinically recognized Obsessive–compulsive disorder in a large health maintenance organization, The American journal of psychiatry 158 (11): 1904–10. doi:10. 1176/appi. ajp. 158. 11. 1904. PMID 11691699 Myers, David G, (2006). Psychology, Eighth Edition, in Modules, Worth Publishers ISBN: 13-978-0-7167-7927-8 Seligman, Martin E, (1995): Obsessions- What you can change—and what you can’t: the complete guide to successful self-improvement: learning to accept who you are. New York: Fawcett Columbine. ISBN 0-449-90971-9