OCD Fact or Fiction

Checking the door once should be enough to make your mind settle down right? Not for people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or better known as OCD. OCD is defined by psychology today as an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations (obsessions) and engage in behaviors or mental acts in response to these thoughts or obsessions. Many people claim that some of their habits are due to having OCD, while there may be extensive organization habits, most people don’t actually have OCD. OCD is currently considered a psychological disorder, according to Psychology Today, the symptoms defined are as following:

· Arranging items so there are only certain items showing; throwing away items if there are “too many,” or acquiring more to get it “just right”

· Lining up, evening up or arranging items so that they are perfectly spaced or even

· Arranging items in a certain order, such as symmetrically arranging shoes in a closet, or repeatedly rearranging clothing by color or alphabetical order

· “Evening up” behavior such as evening up the number of times an action takes place (counting, tapping or touching, for example)

· Avoiding a particular area or room with floors or walls containing symmetrical geometric shapes such as bathroom tiles; seeing the tiles would necessitate tracing each of the edges with one’s eyes

These are just some of the symptoms outlining a type of OCD named (and for a good reason) The Need for Symmetry or Exactness. There are many types of OCD ranging from having to turn the lights on a certain amount of times to fear of being possessed by evil spirits or by the devil to involuntary thoughts of violent behavior towards another person, pet, children, or to one’s self. (beyondocd.org) There are people who believe that OCD is a myth and that people are just being told that it is a psychological disease when in fact it isn’t, and then there’s people who believe the exact opposite. Therefore, to say that people who’ve been diagnosed with this disorder are just wanting attention, could produce a drop in people seeking treatment about what their experiencing, which with certain types of OCD is already very low rates of people seeking help. It’s important not because it would have a high likelihood of affecting you or a loved one, but because it is a real thing that untreated can lead to other mental illnesses and possibly indirectly causing suicide attempts or completion of suicide.

For the more scientific view that it is a real mental illness, CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) gives their view on what OCD is. “Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental illness… Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be very challenging and hard to explain to other people. You may feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about your experiences. These feelings can make it hard to seek help.” These quotes are just a simple description of how they view this disorder. To say that they view it as something simple, or none destructive to those it does affect would be lying because this article talks about what the disorder is and some treatment options are, what you (the person effected by it) can do to help counter act the effects of it and what medications are typically prescribed to either help you the patient combat the behaviors with more control or to help prevent other disorders from developing.

Psychology Today also believes in the thought that OCD is an illness and can be treated. An article titled Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder states: “In response to their obsessions, most people with OCD resort to repetitive behaviors, or compulsions.” This states that not only does Psychology Today believes that OCD is in fact connected with obsessions which in turn forces the repetitive behaviors or the compulsions. Also to point out that not only do the people of Psychology Today believe that OCD is not fiction, but they believe that there are treatment options for it. Treatment options range from SRI’s (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) to CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to how you as a patient or a loved one of a patient can increase the effectiveness of which ever treatment option has been chosen.

There are people who do believe, however, that OCD is made up for people who want attention and to say that there’s something unique about them. The author who’s name is unknown to the public, the title of the article is: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is Not an Illness. The author states that they believe that people who follow in ritualistic habits fall into one of two categories, first anxious and/or fearful, or people who don’t feel successful within their daily lives.

I was immediately struck by the possibility that either this woman doesn’t want to go out, or doesn’t want to go out with her husband. These avenues certainly warrant exploration, but within the present mental health system, all she is likely to get is a “diagnosis” and a prescription. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is Not an Illness)

This quote simply states the author’s opinion on a person they heard on the radio describing their ritualistic habits are starting to put a strain on the person’s marriage. The author most likely doesn’t believe that the person’s habits are compulsive or involuntary. For some people this may be true, where their habits represent OCD habits, but they are just habitual and voluntary. But most people who are diagnosed with OCD are not voluntary in the least, the rituals control them not the other way around.

An article by Jon Rappoport called Mental Disorders Do Not Exist goes over some of the reasons why he thinks that psychologists and psychiatrists are full of it when it comes to evidence on proving that mental illnesses are a thing. “The whole thrust of official psychiatry and its allies is to monopolize their self-appointed territory and use all necessary means to eliminate the competition. This approach has nothing to do with science. It has everything to do with profit and fascist control.” This quote expands upon what he thinks the field of psychiatry really is. In this article he goes on a tangent about how there’s no real physical proof to diagnose a person such as blood tests, no urine tests, or salvia tests, etc.

Mental illnesses like OCD do exist, Jon Rappoport’s article is outdated. There is physical evidence of certain mental illnesses. The evidence isn’t visible by looking at a person, but looking at a brain scan.

While this is newer evidence, it is a key factor to help provide evidence to back up a possible diagnosis. I believe that mental illnesses such as OCD exist and aren’t things to joke around with. This evidence provides some proof that mental illnesses do exist even if you can’t see it. You shouldn’t try to judge a person on what they do or who they are. Just because you personally don’t see the point in ritualistic actions and behaviors, doesn’t mean that you should demean someone based on her actions. You don’t know what is going on inside someone’s head or why they do something unless someone tells you, judging someone doesn’t do anything or puts you in a higher position.

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