Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Religion

2133 WordsJun 18, 20189 Pages
Obsessive Disorder and Religion Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects up to 2.1% of adults and features pervasive and intrusive thoughts that lead to repetitive uncontrollable behaviors aimed to reduce anxiety (APA, 2000). Further, these thoughts and behaviors impede and disrupt daily living and cause marked distress in the lives of the sufferer. The recurrent thoughts often center on fear of contamination, harming self or others, and illness (Himle, Chatters, Taylor, and Nguyen, 2011). Those who experience the compulsive behaviors associated with OCD report feeling as though they cannot stop or control the urge to perform the compulsive behavior and that the urge is alien or from outside conscious control. Behaviors often involve…show more content…
The behaviors that once brought relief now cause distress. Although OCD is recognizable even by non-clinically trained individuals, the presence of religious beliefs influences people’s judgment of others with OCD symptoms. Yossifova and Loewenthal (1999) used case vignettes to investigate how people perceived OCD in religious and non-religious people. The case vignettes portrayed a non-religious individual and a religious individual exhibiting OCD symptomatology. The researchers found participants judged those seen as religious more often as having OCD than they judged those who were non- religious to have OCD. In other words, those who are religious are more likely to be perceived as having OCD than those who are not religious. Interestingly however, those who have ROCD tend to view their condition as having religious roots rather than related to psychiatric issues, which is consistent with the lack of insight commonly associated with ROCD (Siev, Baer & Minichello, 2011). Just as the presence of religious beliefs influence others’ judgment of OCD, culture and religious affiliation also influence the identification and expression of ROCD. Abramowitz et al.(2004) contend the presentation of ROCD symptoms are expressed according to religious affiliation and culture of origin. For example, those who follow the practices of Hinduism usually present with obsessions and compulsions related to
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