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OCD and related disorders How repetitive thoughts and actions can impair our lives.

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1 OCD and related disorders How repetitive thoughts and actions can impair our lives

2 DSM 5 switch Previously these disorders were listed in the chapter with anxiety disorders While these disorders surely involve anxiety and certain meds help both The underlying causes of anxiety disorders and OCD differ significantly Accordingly, in DSM 5 they were placed in different but nearby chapters

3 OCD – the basics Marked by two symptoms: Obsessions – repetitive thoughts and urges & Compulsions – an irresistible need to engage in various acts or mental acts Both are perceived as “unstoppable” They are distressing, uncomfortable, and require a lot of time and energy

4 Similar Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Hoarding\ Both involve significant anxiety 1/3 of Body Dysmorphic fit OCD criteria at some point ¼ of Hoarders, do as well Many similarities with respect to cause and treatment

5 Clinical Description of OCD Intrusive, repetitive, overwhelming obsessions and compulsions Far beyond what the rest of us endure Interfere with everyday activities

6 More Obsessions Obsessions: onrushing, uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses Often involve: fear of contamination sexual or aggressive impulses perceived body problems religious matters symmetry and order Often are perceived as unreasonable

7 Compulsions Repetitive, clearly excessive behaviors or mental acts that must be performed to prevent some catastrophe Often involve Cleanliness and orderliness (often rituals) Repetitive, magically protective acts Unceasing checking Often repeated thousands of times

8 More on Compulsions Contrary to “compulsive” gamblers or shoppers, these activities are never pleasurable Onset before 10 or in late adolescence 1% experience every year, 2% over a lifetime More women than men Often comorbid w/ anxiety, depression and substance abuse – 1/3 show hoarding

9 Body Dysmorphic Preoccupied with one or more perceived defects in appearance No matter what other’s may think Also performance of repetitive actions or mental acts due to appearance fears Has to be more than worries about fat or weight

10 More Body concerns Women focus on skin, breasts, and thighs Men – height, penis size, body hair, size of muscles Spend lots of time (8 hrs!) agonizing over this Also ritualized, compulsive behaviors, especially checking themselves in the mirror Hide or camouflage defects Seek reassurance, or avoid mirrors

11 No fun at all Many (1/3) carry delusions, people staring or laughing at them Lots (1/4) resort to plastic surgery, but that doesn’t seem to help Some consider suicide

12 Functional ramifications Feel profound shame, humiliation, and depression Leads to avoiding contact with others for fear of being ridiculed Some even become housebound 40% can’t work

13 Demographics Afflicts more women But only 2% of even women 5-7% of women seeking plastic surgery Usually begins in late adolescence Within 8 years, 75% recover

14 Miscellaneous While symptoms appear similar worldwide, body parts at issue vary for culture to culture Many US college students complain about appearance but few have are severe enough for diagnosis Virtually all are comorbid with another condition – MDD, OCD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Substance Abuse and the PDs

15 Hording Formerly subsumed within OCD Now carries its own diagnosis It’s not just collecting a lot of junk, it’s the inability to throw away any of it Strongly resist any effort to clear out mess 2/3s are unaware of the severity of the problem

16 If hording things wasn’t bad enough 1/3 also horde animals Many more women then men Though they view themselves as helping the animals, just the opposite plays out Frequently leads to sick, starving, and neglected animals If they’re not already dead

17 Consequences of Hording Problems extend far beyond a messy house Case studies describe overpowering odors from rotted food and feces Health concerns Junk accumulation makes for great difficulty moving about, cooking, sanitation, etc Many can’t even use stove, fridge, even toilet

18 More Problems Some threatened with evection or sanctions Often spend to much money purchasing items Often conditions lead to estrangement with families Some can’t work – poverty, homelessness 2% admit problems Few seek treatment Often severe problems don’t arise to middle age

19 Causes All 3 seem to have similar root causes Show family histories In the brain, the orbitofrontal cortex and caudate nucleus, and anterior cingulate appear overactive All kick into hyperdrive when OCD sees a dirty glove or a BD glimpses a picture of her face

20 Specific causes of OCD Heritability rates run between 30-50% Cognitive and Behavioral factors must contribute

21 Cognition and OCD Why can’t some of us turn off the obsessions? Failure of Yedasentience – the ability to stop thinking about something When more rumination won’t help, most of us can move on to something else Not those with OCD

22 Behavioral explanations for OCD Turn to Operant Conditioning for the answer Performing the compulsive behavior reduces anxiety and is therefore reinforcing – likely to happen again After all, after performing compulsive behaviors, anxiety does drop

23 But why all the checking? Wouldn’t one check be enough? The stove won’t turn on by itself, will it? OCD involves a lack of confidence in memory

24 Thought Suppression Perhaps they try so hard not to think about the obsessions they think about them even more These effects can last for days

25 Causes of Body Dysmorphic Cognitive – how they perceive what they see They focus on certain features (eyes) or facial symmetry that are key re attractiveness Then they find tiny, insignificant details and over-exaggerate their importance Also view attractiveness as much more important than others Ignore the positive, fret over tiny flaws

26 Why horde? Evolution – horde because it was to our advantage to accumulate goods and foods But why so so so much? Cognitive approach offers 3 possible explanations

27 1) they can’t organize – trouble giving the attention necessary, categorizing – too many categories, making decisions, and feel loads of anxiety even trying So they buy too many (decisions) Can’t settle where to put (categorizing) Feel too much stress to discard (anxiety) and can’t pull together a solution (attention)

28 Strange beliefs Form strong emotional connection with junk Feel comfort from them Fear their loss Find them the center of their identity These beliefs can be even stronger with animals All this leads sufferers to avoid any thought of cleaning up, or, worse, throwing anything away

29 Treatment Treatment for all three are similar Use SSRIs Apply Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) techniques

30 Meds for OCD The antidepressant Clomipramine caused a 50% drop in OCD symptoms But the SSRIs work just as well and cause fewer side-effects Not so sure about hording, but one trial showed that Paxil (a SSRI) helped horders

31 ERP & OCD Place in situation which will trigger obsessive thoughts Prevent performance of compulsion Anxiety will run full-force but eventually subside and go through extinction ERP works across settings and types of patients Facing obsession is difficult - 25% won’t try

32 BD - ERP Techniques tailored to fit Forced interactions w/ someone critical of looks Prevented from looking in mirrors At same time irrational thoughts/beliefs are challenged Cognitive techniques aid recovery

33 Hording - ERP Exposure – make them face greatest fear – parting with things Prevention – prevent rituals – buying more, sorting, counting, etc.

34 Other considerations - Hording Work on insight – what’s wrong and why things should change Then behavioral strategies (organizational skills) are taught Rushing doesn’t help – they quit treatment Family relationships are often strained, if they have survived at all Try to build rapport, trust and doable outcomes


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