Learning Center Articles

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (O C D)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (O C D)

Assessment data

  • Recurrent obsessions or compulsions that are severe enough to be time-consuming or to cause marked distress or significant impairment

Obsessions

  • Recurrent thoughts, impulses, or images experienced as intrusive and stressful, and unable to be expunged by logic or reasoning

Compulsions

  • Repetitive ritualistic behavior or thoughts, the purpose of which is to prevent or reduce distress or to prevent some dreaded event or situation

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Assessment

  • Characterized by the exaggerated belief that the body is deformed or defective in some specific way
  • If true defect is present, the person’s concern is unrealistically exaggerated and grossly excessive.
  • Symptoms of depression and obsessive-compulsive personality are common.

Hair-Pulling Disorder (Trichotillomania)

Assessment

  • The recurrent pulling out of one’s own hair that results in noticeable hair loss
  • Preceded by increasing tension and results in sense of release or gratification
  • The disorder is not common, but it occurs more often in women than in men.

Hoarding Disorder

Assessment

  • The persistent difficulty discarding possessions regardless of their value.
  • Additionally, there can be a need for excessive acquiring of items (by purchasing or other means).
  • More men than women are diagnosed with this disorder.

Predisposing factors to O C D and Related disorder

Psychoanalytic theory

  • Clients with O C D have weak, underdeveloped egos.
  • Aggressive impulses are channeled into thoughts and behaviors that prevent the feelings of aggression from surfacing and producing intense anxiety fraught with guilt.

Learning theory

  • Conditioned response to a traumatic event
  • Passive avoidance
  • Active avoidance

Psychosocial influences related to trichotillomania

  • Stressful situations
  • Disturbances in mother–child relationship
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Recent object loss
  • Possible childhood abuse or emotional neglect

Biological aspects

  • Genetics: Possible with trichotillomania
  • Neuroanatomy: Possible abnormalities in basal ganglia and orbitofrontal cortex with O C D
  • Physiology: Some individuals with O C D exhibit electroencephalogram changes.
  • Biochemical factors: Possible decrease in serotonin with O C D and body dysmorphic disorder