A2 Psychology (AQA) - OCD

An explanation of OCD- what it is, and its characteristcis and diagnosis

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  • Created on: 14-06-11 13:59
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OCD
Type of mental disorder
This is a chronic mental health disorder; associated with compulsive behaviour and obsessive
thoughts.
Symptoms of OCD
These are symptoms of OCD, taken from the BUPA website:
thinking or feeling objects are dirty or contaminated
worrying about health and hygiene
fear about safety and security, for example, doors left unlocked or appliances left switched
on
pre-occupation with order and symmetry
religious or anti-religious thoughts
disturbing thoughts about aggression or sex
the urge to hoard useless things
Other related conditions
There are several disorders thought to be linked with OCD- primarily depression. These disorders
are known as OC spectrum disorders. Trichotillomania is an obsessive compulsive disorder, where
the compulsions are to pull out their hair. Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition where people
believe a minor (or imagined) defect with their body is very conspicuous to others, resulting in
behaviour such as excessive mirror checking, grooming, washing and comparing themselves to other
people.
Prevalence rates
This is the most common mental health disorder. It is estimated that 1-3% of adults, and 2% of
children and teenagers have this disorder. It is also listed in the top ten most debilitating diseases by
the WHO. About 2 in 100 adults have this disorder.
Gender differences
This disorder tends to affect more women that it affects men, and women have a later average
onset of the disorder, affecting them in their 20s, whereas in men, onset often takes place in
adolescence.

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