The disorder usually begins by young adulthood and

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Unformatted text preview: COMPULSIVE DISORDER 1. Recurrent obsessions or compulsions. 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 Repetitious Behaviors 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 appliance. << 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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