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Unformatted text preview: COMPULSIVE DISORDER
1. Recurrent obsessions or
2. Past or present recognition that
the obsessions or compulsions are
excessive or unreasonable.
3. Significant distress or impairment,
or disruption by symptoms for
more than one hour a day.
Based on APA, 2000. 12/10/09 11:16:29 AM 122 ://CHAPTER 4 Button shirts top
to bottom Figure 4-6 Normal routines Most people find
it comforting to follow set routines
when they carry out everyday
activities, and, in fact, 40 percent
become irritated if they must depart
from their routines. (Adapted from
Kanner, 2005, 1998, 1995.) 75% Eat corn row
by row 60% Routine Brush teeth
up and down 50% Change towels
daily 0r after
every shower 50% Crack knuckles 40% Sleep on left side 34% Sleep on right side 34% Sleep on stomach Sleep on back 25% 14% Percentage of Population Who Follow Routine Between 1 and 2 percent of the people in the United States and other countries
throughout the world suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder in any given year
(Björgvinsson & Hart, 2008; Wetherell et al., 2006). As many as 3 percent develop the
disorder at some point during their lives. It is equally common in men and women and
among people of different races and ethnic groups.The disorder usually begins by young
adulthood and typically persists for many years, although its symptoms and their severity
may fluctuate over time (Angst et al., 2004). It is estimated that more than 40 percent of
people with obsessive-compulsive disorder seek treatment (Kessler et al., 1999, 1994). What Are the Features of Obsessions and Compulsions?
BETWEEN THE LINES
Beethoven is said to have habitually
dipped his head in cold water before trying to compose music. <<
According to surveys, almost half of
adults double back after leaving home
to make sure they have turned off an
More than half of all people who use an
alarm clock check it repeatedly to be sure
they’ve set it. <<
(Kanner, 1995) ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 122 Obsessive thoughts feel both intrusive and foreign to the people who experience them.
Attempts to ignore or resist these thoughts may arouse even more anxiety, and before
long they come back more strongly than ever. Like the woman quoted at the bottom of
page 121, people with obsessions are quite aware that their thoughts are excessive.
Obsessions often take the form of obsessive wishes (for example, repeated wishes that
one’s spouse would die), impulses (repeated urges to yell out obscenities at work or in
church), images (fleeting visions of forbidden sexual scenes), ideas (notions that germs
are lurking everywhere), or doubts (concerns that one has made or will make a wrong
decision). In the following excerpt, a clinician describes a 20-year-old college junior
who was plagued by obsessive doubts. He now spent hours each night “rehashing” the day’s events, especially interactions with
friends and teachers, endlessly making “right” in his mind any and all regrets. He likened
the process t...
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