Docstoc

Obsessive_Compulsive_Disorder

Document Sample
Obsessive_Compulsive_Disorder Powered By Docstoc
					Title:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Word Count:
511

Summary:
Did you just come back from checking that the back door was locked? Will
you be checking again in ten minutes? Will your session at the computer
be interrupted at least twice to make sure that the back door is locked?
If so, then you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.

Obsessive compulsive disorder may generate laughter in a skit on a
television show, but for millions of people it is anything but funny. An
obsession can range from something as mildly irritating as ...


Keywords:
mental illness,chemical imbalance, antidepressants


Article Body:
Did you just come back from checking that the back door was locked? Will
you be checking again in ten minutes? Will your session at the computer
be interrupted at least twice to make sure that the back door is locked?
If so, then you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.

Obsessive compulsive disorder may generate laughter in a skit on a
television show, but for millions of people it is anything but funny. An
obsession can range from something as mildly irritating as checking to
make sure the back door is locked twenty times a day to never being able
to travel more than five miles from your home before you return just to
make sure you didn’t leave the stove on. Even though you checked it
before you got in the car and checked it again after you got in the car
but before you turned the key.

Probably the most famous victim of obsessive compulsive disorder was
billionaire Howard Hughes, whose battle with the disease took him from
being a dashing movie executive who dated some of the most beautiful
women in Hollywood to a recluse who washed his hands a hundred times a
day and was petrified of human contact.

Although many people consider it a mental illness, in fact there is
physiological condition associated with the disorder. Obsessive
compulsive disorder is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Specifically, the imbalance takes place in a part of the brain known as
the caudate nucleus. The caudate nucleus works in conjunction with an
area of the brain called the orbital cortex. The orbital cortex is sort
of the tattletale of the brain; it serves to warn us that something isn’t
quite right, that we forgot to lock the door or turn off the stove. But
when the imbalance occurs in the caudate nucleus it causes the orbital
cortex to malfunction. In essence, it becomes a tattletale that keeps
repeating the same story. It keeps telling you that the door is unlocked,
or that your hands aren’t clean and need to be washed.
While some drugs have proven to be effective in some cases in dealing
with the imbalance, as of yet there is still no proven foolproof
pharmacological cure for obsessive compulsive disorder. The magic cure
doesn’t exist yet, but it’s not all bad news. Increasing numbers of
sufferers are finding various levels of relief by combining one of
several brand name antidepressants with behavioral control methods. One
theory goes that the medication lessens one’s anxiety level enough to
allow for greater mental control over the fear involved in the
compulsive. After all, what is really going on is the fear that you left
the door unlocked or the stove still burning. Because the brain is
constantly ringing that alarm, it’s difficult to control the urge to
check it out. But the medication can work to lessen that anxiety and
allow you to exert more control over whether you check that door for the
third time in ten minutes.