Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, more commonly referred to as OCD, takes various forms in people suffering from the disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, classifies OCD as an anxiety disorder, in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations, or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something. The unwanted behaviors are the obsessions, while the actions resulting from the behaviors are identified as compulsions.

The American Journal of Psychiatry reports that close to 3 million people in the United States suffer from some type of OCD. The compulsions of these individuals have been described to range from unnecessary repeated behaviors, to actions that sometimes seem intrusive to others. OCD is more frequent than was once assumed by scientists and the general public. If diagnosed, most individuals who develop OCD show symptoms before their late twenties. Any compulsive behaviors after age thirty are normally considered being indirectly related to mid-life crises.

The Center for OCD Types, provides data on a distribution percentage of people diagnosed with OCD types in the United States. According to their chart, the breakdown is as follows:                                                                                   

Checking  80%

Hoarding  62%

Ordering   57%

Morality  43%

Sexual/Religious  30%

Contaminating/Washing  25%

Harming/Aggression  24%

Illness   14%

Other  19%

Checking, is characterized by similar symptoms of anxiety. Constant fighting, moving, and tics, which can also be related to Turret’s syndrome, have been associated with this particular type of OCD. People who hoard usually purchase items they simple don’t need or use, as if the thrill of shopping gives them pleasure. The ordering type of OCD takes the form of what many term “control freak”. People with OCD who obsess about having control over people, situations, and events, often seem to have a lack of control in other areas of their lives, such as relationships and home life.

Individuals with OCD who display behavior that can be considered questionable, othese people often judge themselves before others judge them. Psychologists have identified issues with boundaries and authority as targets of obsession for these types. Compulsive hand washers, for awhile, were the most common types of OCD diagnosed and in the eyes of the public. Today, people who harness high-levels of anger, aggression, and harmful tendencies, are being examined to evaluate if their undesirable behavior results from objects, events, or people related to attitudes and emotions. Certain illnesses such Anorexia-Nervosa, and Bulimia are also considered by some researchers related to OCD.

Famous people also suffer from OCD. Most notably, Howie Mandel, who suffers from a type of contaminating OCD. Howie is considered what many researchers on the subject term a “germaphobe.” People with germaphobia have a tendency to constantly wipe and wash their hands, as to avoid contracting germs or diseases from others. People like Howie are afraid they might inherit a communicable disease that could debilitate them, despite them knowing their the behavior is excessive or unreasonable.

The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), is one measurement tool researchers have designed to help diagnose, treat, and track progress treatment of OCD sufferers.

There are now several theories about causes of OCD, but none have been confirmed as the foundation for diagnosing the various types. Some reports have linked OCD to head injury and infections. Several studies have shown that there are brain abnormalities in patients with OCD, but more research is needed for a more solid theory.

Of course, as science makes improvements, and people no longer fear the stigmatization associated with seeking treatment, there very well could be many more types of OCD to add to the list.

In summation, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can influence how a person views others, and the world around them. If gone untreated, OCD can complicate a person’s career, romantic relationship, as well as their platonic interactions. Newer research also suggests that other types of OCD seem to have developed as a result in changes within society and civilization as a whole. Evidence supports that types are broad, and almost anyone is subjected to its grip. The many types of OCD seem to be non-discriminatory.