OCD

What is OCD, and what does it stand for?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a condition charaterisd by obsessions (faulty cognitions) and compulsions
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What is meant by the term 'Compulsion'?
A repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought
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What is meant by the term 'Obsession"?
An unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a persons mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease. A faulty form of cognition; takes place in your mind - what you think/perceive or percept
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What are the four parts of the OCD cycle?
Relief, Obsessions, Anxiety, Compulsions
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What are the 2 behavioural characteristics of OCD?
Compulsions. Avoidance
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Outline the behavioural OCD characteristic 'Compulsions'
They are a behavioural component of OCD. They are repetitive. They reduce anxiety
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Outline the behavioural OCD characteristic 'Avoidance'
Reduce anxiety by avoiding the OCD tigger. Severe cases- avoid ordinary situations, unable to live a normal life
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What are the 3 emotional characteristics of OCD?
Anxiety and Distress. Accompanying Depression. Guilt and Disgust
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Outline the emotional OCD characteristic 'Anxiety and Distress'
OCD is emotional. Obsessive thoughts are unpleasant and frightening. The urge to repeat the behaviour causes anxiety
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Outline the emotional OCD characteristic 'Accompanying Depression'
Anxiety alongside a low mood and lack of enjoyment. Compulsive behaviour brings temporary relief from anxiety
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Outline the emotional OCD characteristic 'Guild and Disgust'
Irrational guilt over minor moral issues. Disgust directed against something external
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What are the 3 cognitive characteristics of OCD?
Obsessive Thoughts. Strategies to deal with obsessions. Insight into excessive anxiety
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Outline the cognitive OCD characteristic 'Obsessive Thoughts'
90% of sufferers have obsessive thoughts, that can vary from person to person, but are always unpleasant. e.g leaving a door open could lead to intruders, or could lead to having an unpleasant urge to hurt someone.
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Outline the cognitive OCD characteristic 'Strategies to deal with obsessions'
Strategies may be abnormal to others and disrupt daily life. The compulsions often become necessary coping mechanisms. e.g people tormented by guilt may respond by meditating. This will help manage anxiety.
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Outline the cognitive OCD characteristic 'Insight into excessive anxiety'
Sufferers are aware that their obsessions are irrational. They often have very exaggerrated thoughts, worst-case-scenario. Sufferers are often hypervigilant; focused on what they believe to be potential hazards/risks.
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What did Lewis observe about genetics and OCD?
He observed patients with OCD and found that 27% of patients also had parents who suffered from OCD, and 21% of sufferers had siblings with OCD.
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What do the finings of Lewis' study into genes and OCD imply?
Implies that OCD has a biological component
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What is genetic transmission?
Transfer of genetic info from genes to another generation. (From parent to child)
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What is an issue with the findings of lewis' study into genes and OCD?
Does not suggests a genetic explanation, because it should be 100% for parents and 50% for siblings.
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What are the findings of Miguels study into genes and twins?
If one identical twin has OCD, the other twin has a 53-83% chance of developing OCD. If one non-identical twin has OCD, the other twin has a 22-47% chance of developing OCD.
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How can the differences in Miguels findings be explained?
Upbringing of monozygotic (I) twins vs upbringing of dizygotic (NI) twins, with regards to their environmental differences is MINIMAL. Therefore suggesting the differnce between these twins is due to the differences is in genetics not upbringing
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What is the stress-diathesis model?
A psychological theory that attempts to explain behaviour as a predispositional vulnerability together with stress from life experiences. It says that if someone has enough stress, and a predisposition, they will develop the disorder
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What are candidate genes?
Genes that create vulnerability for OCD. Some CG are involved in regulating the development of serotonin. For example, the gene 5HT1-D Beta is implicated in the efficiency of transport of serotonin cross synapses
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OCD is polygenic, what does Polygenic mean?
OCD is not caused by one single gene but that several genes are involved. Taylor (2013) analysed findings of many studies and found evidence that there are up to 230 different genes involved in OCD.
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What are some examples of specific genes that are included in the 230 different genes that make up OCD, as suggested by Taylor?
Include those associated wth the action of dopamine as well as serotonin, both neurotransmitters believed to have a role in regulating mood
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The OCD origin has different causes; what is the term used for this?
Aetiologically Heterogeneous
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There is research to support that OCD may be the result of .... variations?
Particular genetic variations (such as hoarding disorder and religious obsession)
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What are the 3 brain areas involved in OCD, according to the neural explanation?
Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC). Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC). The head of the Caudate Nucleus.
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Why are the Orbitofrontal codex and Anterior cingulate cortex connected to?
Basil Ganglia
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What is the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)?
Part of the brain that notices when something is wrong. For example, when the OFC registers that there is dirt nearby; it sends a 'worry' signal to the thalamus
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What is the thalamus?
Directs signals from many parts of the brain to places that can interpret them - such as back to the OFC. These nerve cell connections form a loop in the brain.
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What is the caudate nucleus?
Regulates signals sent between the OFC and the thalamus in the brain
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What is the neural explanations role of serotonin?
Regulate mood & To relay info from one neuron to another. If serotoin levels are low, then the normal transmission of mood-relevant info doesn't take place. Therefore mood and other mental processes are affected. TST reduction in serotonin = OCD
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What does the neural explanation suggest that OCD is associated with?
Poor decision making - abnormal functioning of the frontal lobes of the brain.
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What is the Parahippocampal Gyrus?
Associated with unpleasant emotions. There is evidence suggesting that this functions abnormally in OCD
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What are the frontal lobes?
The front part of the brain (behind forehead) that are responsible for logical thinking and making decisions.
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What can the biological approach always be evaluated as?
Biologically reductionist
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What can the behavioural approach always be evaluated as?
behaviourally reductionist
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What is the evidence to suggest that the biological explanation of OCD is biologically reductionist?
Monozygotic twins are 100% genetically the same, therefore if OCD was genetic, then the concordance rate should be 100%... but this is not the case. TST must be other factors involved (e.g environmental ones), most likely nature AND nurture.
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Because the biological explanation can be considered biologically reductionist, what would a better explanation of OCD be?
The stress diathesis model
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How can the biological explanation of OCD be argued to be too simplistic?
Relationships between OCD and function of basal ganglia is not straight forward. Neuroimaging fails to identify BG impairments in all OCD patients, some patients don't have BG impairments. TST too simplistic and lacks internal validity
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How did Hollander support the biological explanation of OCD?
He found that Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) were successful in a range of OCD patients. TST the claim that OCD is caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters is plausible, research adds internal validity.
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What do the biological treatments of OCD aim to do?
Restore biological imbalances, such as too little serotonin.
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What are drug treatments based on?
The assumption that chemical imbalances are the main cause of problems
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What are the two types of drug used for biological treatment of OCD?
Selected Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Benzodiazepines (BZ)
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Where does serotonin travel once released from the pre-synaptic cell into the synapse?
Travels to the receptor sites on the post-synaptic neuron
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What happens to serotonin that is not absorbed into the post-synaptic neuron?
It is reabsorbed into the the pre-synaptic neuron
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What do Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) do?
Increase the level of serotonin available in the synapse by preventing it from being reabsorbed into the pre-synaptic neuron. Increasing serotonin levels in synapse and results in more serotonin received by post-synaptic neuron
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What do anti-depressants do?
Improve mood and reduce anxiety, which is experienced by patients with OCD.
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What is a commonly known SSRI?
Prozac
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What is a commonly known 'Benzo'?
Valium
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How do BZs work?
They enhance the action of the neurotransmitter 'GABA'
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What is the neurotransmitter that is more commonly known as GABA?
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
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What does GABA do?
Tells neutrons in the brain to 'slow down' and 'stop firing'
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What percentage of neurons in the brain respond to GABA, and what does this mean?
40% - means that BZs have a general quietening influence on the brain and consequently reduce anxiety, which is experienced as a result of the obsessive thoughts.
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What is a criticism of the use of drug treatments?
Side- effects. SSRIs are known to make people tired, gain weight and impotence. TST may not be suitable fro all patients
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What is considered to be the 'Underlying Issue' with drug treatment?
They are palliative treatments - pain is reduced & living is made comfortable but nothing is cured... They have a arias effect on treating OCD symptoms but they do not tackle the underlying causes. TST needs to be combined with another therapy.
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How did Simpson criticise the drug treatment of OCD?
he found that up to 45% of patients relapsed back into the disorder within 12 weeks of stopping drug treatment. TST they can be argued to only provide short term support that enables them to receive further effective treatment, but does not treat OCD
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What is the contradicting research into effectiveness of the drug treatment of OCD?
Foa - found that drug therapy was more effective than having no treatment at all, but it was less effective than CBT along or CBT combined with drugs.
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What is a positive evaluation of the drug treatment of OCD?
Drug therapy is cheap and fast acting; requires little effort from the patient.
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What are the ethical issues associated with treating OCD through drug therapy?
If patients become addicted to the drug, they will become resistant to the drug therefore requiting their dosage to increase - making side effects more severe
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is meant by the term 'Compulsion'?

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A repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought

Card 3

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What is meant by the term 'Obsession"?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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What are the four parts of the OCD cycle?

Back

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Card 5

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What are the 2 behavioural characteristics of OCD?

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