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Living With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Essay

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Can you imagine walking down the street passing a building, and not being able to go on your way until you have counted every window in the building? How about trying to leave your house, but it takes you about one and a half to two hours to leave because you keep checking and checking to make sure the windows and doors are locked? These are just a few examples of how people may act who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). People that have OCD find it hard to lead normal lives. They tend to suffer from recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and perform the same rituals (compulsions) that they feel that they cannot control. The rituals or compulsions they have can be anything from washing their hands over and over, to…show more content…
The PET scans show that patients that have OCD show a change in the striatum area of the brain when behavioral therapy and medication are given. Maybe with this new information on the cause of OCD, physicians may be able to treat it easier and with greater success. Commonality of OCD among the population of the United States does not seem substantial when compared to other illnesses. About 3.3 million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18-54 have OCD in a given year. (NIMH 2000.) This translates into roughly 2.3 percent of the population. Studies show that OCD affects women and men about equally. The ratio of men to women with OCD not being that significant in either direction to give it solely to one gender. This is unusual because most illnesses tend to favor one gender or the other. Typically OCD starts in early adolescence, but is written of by parents as abnormal or unusual behavior and the thought that the child will grow out of it. At least one-third of the cases of adult OCD began in childhood. This shows if caught soon enough and treated OCD might not have been a life long battle for some clients. In 1990 the U.S. paid out a total of 8.4 million dollars for treatment of clients with OCD. This was nearly 6 percent of the total mental health bill of 148 billion dollars. (NIMH 2000.) OCD doesn't just affect the adult population either. Approximately one million children and adolescents in the
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