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I Am a Little Bit OCD. Are You?


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Leslie Shoemaker, C.Couns, Psychol, Ps.S.I

Published in: Science
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I Am a Little Bit OCD. Are You?

  1. 1. I Am A Little Bit OCD. AreYou?I Am A Little Bit OCD. AreYou? By Leslie Shoemaker, BA, MSc, Chartered Counselling Psychologist, C.Couns, Psychol., Ps.S.I.
  2. 2. WelcomeWelcome Purpose of today is to: ◦ introduce everyone to OCD (and how people are not a little bit OCD). ◦ provide details about evidence based treatments. Please get your pen/pencil ready. L 2
  3. 3. ExerciseExercise Please write out the following statement exactly as it is: May (write the name of loved one here) die in a horrible car accident on Sunday, May 13th , 2018. 3
  4. 4. OCD – Fast FactsOCD – Fast Facts ◦ OCD is considered to be a neurobiological disorder. In other words, it is probably a disorder of the brain. ◦ The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists OCD amongst the top 10 most debilitating illnesses with regard to loss on income and diminished quality of life. ◦ Research suggests that this disorder affects 1-2% of the population. That means there are 1-2 people out of every 100 may have OCD. In the USA its is estimated 2.2 million people over the age of 18 have it. 4
  5. 5. OCD – Fast Facts (cont)OCD – Fast Facts (cont) ◦ OCD is considered to be the forth most common disorder (after substance abuse, specific phobias, and major depression). ◦ Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and/or medication are shown by research to be the most appropriate and effective treatment options (NICE Guidelines). ◦ It is unknown as to what causes OCD but in 2014 researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, say they have uncovered a genetic marker that may provide clues. 5
  6. 6. So What Is OCD?So What Is OCD? 6
  7. 7. Common ObsessionsCommon Obsessions  Fear of contamination from dirt, germs, viruses, etc  Doubts about harm occurring - doors are not secure, etc  Excessive concern with exactness, order symmetry  Obsessions with the body or physical symptoms  Religious, sacrilegious or blasphemous thoughts  Sexual thoughts or images - i.e. being a paedophile or gay  Urge to hoard useless or worn out possessions - although not always regarding as such by the hoarder (hoarding now recognized as disorder in its own right)  Thoughts or images of violence or aggression 7
  8. 8. Content of ObsessionsContent of Obsessions  Simply reflects the persons value system and/or what is currently happening in society.  No hidden meanings to the content hence why CBT/ACT does not delve into the content of thoughts. 8
  9. 9. Common CompulsionsCommon Compulsions  Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks, appliances, and switches.  Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they’re safe.  Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety.  Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning.  Seeking excessive reassurance.  Avoiding particular places, people or situations to avoid an OCD thought (be it about harming someone or contamination fears). 9
  10. 10. Common CompulsionsCommon Compulsions  Ordering or arranging things “just so”.  Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear.  Accumulating “junk” such as old newspapers or empty food containers (hoarding is now recognised as it own disorder and not as a form of OCD).  Questioning thought(s).  Thinking same thought(s) over and over.  Avoidance of kitchen knives and other such instruments, (for example locking them in a drawer) to prevent coming into contact with them (thought of harming someone with a knife inadvertently). 10
  11. 11. Things To Be Aware OfThings To Be Aware Of  People with OCD see the predicted outcome (i.e. I may harm someone, etc) as quite ‘awful’ and as highly probable. Think of compulsions as their ‘way’ of protecting themselves and others.  People with OCD may not be able to discuss content of obsessions.  They may be afraid they may be crazy and there is no effective help available.  Typically people with OCD experience high levels of embarrassment, fear and shame.  Under-reporting of symptoms (nature of thoughts/severity). 11
  12. 12. Support OrgansationsSupport Organsations OCD Ireland International OCD Foundation OCD UK 12