ocd recap

ocd explanations and treatments

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  • Created by: kate
  • Created on: 18-01-10 14:44
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Thoughts Recurring
Disturbing Automatic
Reduces anxiety Behaviours
Compelled to perform
Biological explanation
Genetic factors 10% of OCD suffers had relatives with OCD
1.9% had no OCD relatives (Pauls et al. 1995)
Family studies indicated predisposition to the illness ( tendency to
develop illness)
Biochemical factors related to low levels of neurotransmitter serotonin
SSRI's increase levels seem to reduce OCD symptoms (Prozac)
Difficult to untangle genetic and environmental factors
Might be close to relative observe and imitate
SSRI's therapeutic effect not necessarily imply low levels serotonin cause
Behavioural explanation
Twoprocess theoryavoidance learning can be applied
Classical conditioning two things associated together (germs, public
Anxious thought of contamination ­anxiety reduced by washing hands
Hand washing regular ­reinforced because anxiety reduced
Next time anxious about germs(obsessions) wash hands(compulsions)
Operant conditioning maintain behaviour

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Can account for both cause and maintenance
Twoprocess theory led to effective treatment
Cognitive Explanation
OCD have obsessive thoughts cause great anxiety
Cognitive bias make them `hypervigilant' when attending environmental
More likely attend to threatrelated stimuli
Unable to banish unwanted thoughts ­become more vivid and intolerable
OCD sufferers memory deficitscant remember if the door is locked
keep checking
Little confidence in own memory ability
Ignores social and emotional aspects of the condition
Reducing hypervigilant in OCD had some success suggesting
contributory factor…read more


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