Mental Illness

In: Science

October 14, 2012
Matthew Hoffman

Mental Illness: OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by the inability to control or even stop unwanted thoughts and actions. From the 14th to the 16th century in Europe, OCD was thought to be a devilish influence and treated through exorcisms (“Who discovered OCD?”). As time went on, this anxiety disorder was thought as a form on insanity; this was until the 19th century. In the 19th century, the obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions were debated as neurosis (“A short history of OCD”, 2009). Finally in 1910, OCD was known to be the “touching disorder” by Sigmund Freud. Freud and Pierre Janet were the first to identify that the disorder is a psychological disorder (“A short history of OCD”, 2009; “Who discovered OCD?”, Karr, 2010). Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects about 1 percent of the United States and 1.8 percent of Canadians. The cradle to grave occurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder is approximately 1.7 to 4 percent (Moscou & Snipe, 2009). In adults, men and women are equally affected by OCD, according to the American Psychiatric Association in the DSM-IV-TR (2000). According to Medical Doctor, Sang H. Suh, men with OCD have symptoms show up at a younger age than women; men as 6 to 15 years old and women being in their 20’s (2004). Some researchers say that minorities—mostly African and Mexican Americans—are more susceptible to anxiety disorders, such as OCD. This is very controversial because the National Comorbidity Survey in 1989 has somewhat disproven that there are any connections between race and anxiety (Martins, McNeil, & Widoe, 2006). People who have family members, such as parents or grandparents are much more likely to also have the obsessive-compulsive disorder (“Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)”, 2010; Mayo Clinic staff, 2010; Suh...

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