Double-checking things is a pretty common human behavior,
like—did I shut the garage-door?
How about locking the front door?
Gas-stove and oven off?
We all do it.
But what if you feel compelled to triple-check it,
or even quadruple check it, or quintuple check it even,
then it might be considered an obsession.
Now, what if you have to do a certain ritual with the gas-stove and oven
before leaving the home each time, like:
make sure the gas-stove is off,
wipe down the gas stove to clean it,
double-check that the burners are off,
make sure the oven is off,
wipe down the oven to clean it,
and then open the oven door to make sure no heat is coming out,
and then you can leave the house.
Then that might be a compulsion.
Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD,
is a specific type of anxiety disorder
characterized by these obsessions or compulsions.
Obsessions are recurrent and intrusive thoughts
that are typically unwanted and tough to get out of your brain.
These unwanted thoughts, like “ my house is unsafe ”, cause anxiety,
and usually they lead to compulsions,
which are actions that might be performed
to try and reduce the anxiety associated with obsessions.
As you might imagine,
these thoughts and rituals can have a serious impact on someone’s daily life.
OCD affects around 3 % of the population,
and affects both men and women equally
and usually starts in childhood or in the teen years.
据悉 大卫·贝克汉姆 霍伊·曼德尔等名人也患有强迫症
Celebrities like David Beckham and Howie Mandel are known to be affected by OCD,
and a more severe example is that of Howard Hughes,
business tycoon and entrepreneur, among other things,
who was affected by relatively incapacitatingOCD later in his life.
Although obsessive-compulsive includes both obsessions and compulsions,
one doesn’t need both obsessions and compulsions for a diagnosis,
some individuals might have just obsessions or just compulsions,
but the majority of patients have both,
often where the compulsion is performed to alleviate an obsession.
A very common compulsion is cleaning,
which often stems from an obsession with germs or contamination.
Another common compulsion is checking,
usually because they have obsessions that something’s unsafe,
所以他们会打开锁 再锁上 有时候重复几次检查
so they’ll check to make sure that something’s definitely safe
by unlocking and re-locking it, sometimes several times.
More generally though, repeating is a compulsion on its own,
where an action or phrase is repeated several times,
And usually this is done
because if it’s not, they think something bad will happen.
Sometimes patients might feel compelled to order and arrange things,
because when they’re out of order, it causes anxiety and discomfort.
Finally, mental rituals are also obsessions,
these are often done to try to neutralize intrusive or what they think are bad thoughts.
so they might try and call up specific words or phrases
they think are good thoughts
to try and replace the bad thoughts.
Now the diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders,
the fifth edition, or the DSM – V,
gives specific diagnostic criteria to meet for a diagnosis of OCD.
首先 他们要有强迫意念 强迫行为或二者兼具
First and foremost they need to have the presence of obsessions compulsions or both.
The obsessions and/or compulsions need to also be time-consuming,
often such that it produces distress with their social life and their work.
for example, taking two hours every day folding and unfolding clothes
and then being late for work.
it’s also important that the obsessions and compulsions
are not due to the physiological effects of a substance or other medical condition.
Finally, the apparent anxiety isn’t better explained by another mental disorder,
like for example, an obsession with personal appearance, like in dysmorphic disorder.
Like most mental disorders,
there isn’t a known cause of OCD,
though it’s thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Sometimes OCD seems to run in families,
and an important clue is that
identical twins are more often affected than non-identical twins.
It’s now thought that
abnormalities in serotonin neurotransmission in the brain plays a key role,
though the exact mechanism is unknown.
治疗方法包括精神疗法 药物疗法 或二者结合
Treatment usually involves psychotherapy, medications, or both.
Among psychotherapy options, cognitive behaviortherapy has been effective,
specifically a technique called exposure and response therapy,
where patients are first exposed the anxiety and compulsion provoking situation.
ultimately showing that the anxiety actually lessens
when the compulsion is not carried out.
Because the cause has been linked to serotonin,
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs,
have been shown to be an effective drug treatment,
though they often come with symptoms and side effects
that may need to be further treated with medications or psychotherapy.
With the right treatment though ,
patients often return to normal daily life and activities.