Monday, February 14, 2011

Do you suffer from OCD ?

Thousands of people around the world suffer from OCD (or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), an anxiety disorder in which an individual suffers from unwanted repetitive thoughts and behaviours. It occurs in a spectrum from mild to severe, but if severe and left untreated, can destroy a person's capacity to function at work, school or even at home


Two major symptoms of OCD are obsessions and compulsive rituals. They often centre on one or more of the following issues:
- A person with OCD may constantly worry about having dirty hands or clothing, or catching or spreading germs. In some cases, it extends to sexual activity.

- They worry that the front door isn't locked, the oven isn't turned off, or a cigarette hasn't been snuffed out.

- They fear losing control and harming others.

- They are obsessed with order and precision, may feel very anxious if even the smallest detail is out of place.

Most people with OCD resort to repetitive behaviours called compulsions like the following:

- Repeatedly washing hands/or taking baths.

- Repeating routine actions a number of times until it feels right. For instance, checking if lights are switched off or appliances are unplugged.

- Excessive checking of door locks, the fridge or stoves.

- Repeatedly making lists, counting or arranging.

- Unnecessary re-reading and re-writing or excessive praying and performing rituals.

Stress from unemployment, relationship difficulties, problems at school, illness or childbirth can be strong triggers. Being a victim of sexual abuse as a child, can increase the chance of developing OCD as an adult

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ( OCD) Cycle

OCD Model

What causes OCD

Common Obsessions

Contamination  45%

Pthologic Doubt  35%

Aggression  32%

Sex 20%

Religious  17%

Symmetry / exactness  14%

Hoarding   3%

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Common Compulsions

Washing & Cleaning  41%

Checking  38%

Repeating  16%

Ordering  16%

Counting  5%

Hoarding  3%

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20yrs ago , OCD was considered a rare disorder affecting only 0.5% people.

Now : 2-3% total population  , 1% children

According to WHO , OCD is one of the 10 leading causes of disability

Over 12 million Indian have it in one form or another

58% seeking treatment come from urban background.

Average time lag between onset and a proper diagnosis is 17 yrs

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Woman dies after showering 20 hours a day

An elderly British couple have been arrested on suspicion of the manslaughter of their daughter who was so blighted by obsessive compulsive disorder she spent up to 20 hours a day in the shower. Samantha Hancox, 40, was found dead in an armchair at the home she had hardly left in 18 years for fear of coming into contact with germs. Her parents Ken and Marion Hancox dialled 999 but were later questioned for seven hours after being arrested and taken to a police station to be fingerprinted. A post mortem examination revealed their daughter, their only child, died of dehydration and a skin infection. Mr Hancox, 76, who has bone cancer, and his 77-year-old wife are on bail while further investigations take place into the death. They told yesterday how their daughter, a former law student, suffered from acute obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) which left her a virtual recluse with a crippling phobia about germs. As the condition took hold, Hancox would wear socks on her hands which she scrubbed constantly. In her final years only her parents were allowed into the house to try to keep it germ-free.
The couple from Tipton, Sandwell, West Midlands, criticised the lack of help they were given from mental health and social services teams as they laid bare the severity of their daughter’s illness. Mrs Hancox, who is disabled and cannot walk, said: “Everything had to be wrapped up. When Ken went out shopping he had to change his clothes before he could come back in or walk around in his underwear. Sometimes she would even want us to burn the clothes. There was a fog in the house from her showering.”
She added: “How could they arrest us? We didn’t kill her, it was the OCD. She was our daughter and we loved her.
“We tried to get help. All these psychiatrists kept coming and all they did was assess her and went away. Occasionally she was admitted to hospital briefly, but nothing was ever done to really help her. We even wrote to Tony Blair when he was prime minister.” She said her daughter wanted to see a psychotherapist but was told the local primary care trust did not offer that service to patients. In her last five years Hancox’s state of mind had deteriorated so much that she refused to let any medical professional visit her at home, and was too scared to leave the house herself. Her parents, former factory workers, said their daughter began worrying about germs at 10 when her grandmother, Molly, died after being admitted to hospital. An aunt had died not long before from food poisoning.
At 14, she dropped out of school and was tutored at home. Three years later her phobia led her to leave college before completing a law course.
Her parents said in her last 18 years she left the house only once other than for a hospital appointment.

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