Indeed cultural and religious rituals often give

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Unformatted text preview: y that she will one day give in to them and embarrass herself. Most such concerns are unfounded. Although many obsessions lead to compulsive acts—particularly to cleaning and checking compulsions—they usually do not lead to violence or immoral conduct. Obsessive-compulsive disorder was once among the least understood of the psychological disorders. In recent decades, however, researchers have begun to learn more about it. The most influential explanations and treatments come from the psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and biological models. ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 123 123 BETWEEN THE LINES An Obsession That Changed the World The experiments that led Louis Pasteur to the pasteurization process may have been driven in part by his obsession with contamination and infection. Apparently he would not shake hands and regularly wiped his glass and plate before dining (Asimov, 1997). << Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images had said the right thing every step of the way. He would do this while sitting at his desk, supposedly studying; and it was not unusual for him to look at the clock after such a period of rumination and note that, to his surprise, two or three hours had elapsed. (Spitzer et al., 1981, pp. 20–21) :// Cultural rituals Rituals do not necessarily reflect compulsions. Indeed, cultural and religious rituals often give meaning and comfort to their practitioners. Here, Buddhist monks splash water over themselves during their annual winter prayers at a temple in Tokyo. This cleansing ritual, performed to pray for good luck, is a far cry from the cleaning compulsions often found in obsessive-compulsive disorder. 12/10/09 11:16:30 AM 124 ://CHAPTER 4 The Psychodynamic Perspective As you have seen, psychodynamic theorists believe that an anxiety disorder develops when children come to fear their own id impulses and use ego defense mechanisms to lessen the resulting anxiety. What distinguishes obsessive-compulsive disorder from other anxiety disorders, in their view, is that here the battle between anxiety-provoking id impulses and anxiety-reducing defense mechanisms is not buried in the unconscious but is played out in overt thoughts and actions. The id impulses usually take the form of obsessive thoughts, and the ego defenses appear as counterthoughts or compulsive Dining Out: The Obsessive-Compulsive Experience [R]estaurants are designed to be calming and relaxing. That is one of the main reasons people like to eat out. To many of us with obsessive--compulsive disorder, those pleasures are invisible. We walk into a calm and civilized dining room and see things we won’t be able to control. . . . Personally, I am fine with just about any table, although the wobbly ones can spell big trouble. I have harm obsessions, which means I am plagued by the fear that other people will be hurt by something I do, or don’t do. Seated at a less-than-sturdy table, I conjure images of fellow diners being crushed or otherwise injured should I fail to notify the restaurant’s management. This is called a reporting compulsion in th...
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This note was uploaded on 01/07/2013 for the course PSY 270 taught by Professor Hall during the Spring '05 term at University of Phoenix.

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