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Critical Thinking Paper

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Critical Thinking Paper

In the world of psychology there are many different forms of psychological disorders. Many of these disorders are portrayed in movies, television, music, and in literature. The portrayals of these disorders can be effective in showing the true colors of psychological disorders, or they can leave the audience with a false impression.

The pop culture event that I studied was the film As Good as it Gets. The film did a good job depicting the disorder of obsessive compulsive behaviors. I find that I have a slightly better understanding of OCD due to the content of the film. The film effectively portrays the main character suffering obsessive compulsions that would seem extremely abnormal to individuals not suffering from OCD. I have more understanding that the obsessions are something that the individual can not control even though they are cognizant of the fact that their actions do not make a sense.

I tend to lack understanding on the treatment of OCD from the film because the main character worked on his own attempting to improve on his obsessions. I think this is an inaccurate portrayal since people suffering from OCD are often disabled from working, going to school, or even living out a normal day. Individuals suffering from OCD are not able to self correct the disorder without pharmaceutical treatment and lots of psychological support. This gives me the impression they only took what they wanted from the disease to make the film more interesting.

The publication of Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Unearthing a hidden problem from the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine dealt with the topic of obsessive compulsions first by describing the different forms of obsessions individuals have, and then went on to describe OCD can be diagnosed by primary physicians, and on to the many different treatments available to OCD. The article was written in terms that individuals without medical degrees are able to understand most of the content. The journal appears to be believable due to numerous references from other creditable sources listed in the works cited. This simplified terminology makes the article more believable to individuals who are not medically educated. When it comes down to descriptions based on scientific research there wasn't any that I noticed. Most of the supporting information was based on percentages of success rates. There was no technological or medical research included in this journal entry. Due to the simplified terminology and findings of other researched methods it was easier to understand.

In the article Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders dealt with the topic of OCD by describing how OCD occurs in the brain, the symptoms of OCD, and finally describes the available treatments for OCD. The article is extremely believable due to the nature of the included content. With the amount of medical terminology and anatomy of the brain, the article is very believable. The information is given further credibility by including research results from MRI and PET exams, by discussing the positive results of surgical procedures, and by discussing instruments and methods for diagnosing OCD. The methods are harder to understand because of the terminology used. The journal entry is more intended for those with a medical background. The complexity of the terminology makes me assume that the entry is believable, mostly due to my lack of knowledge on the subject.

In the article, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by William Greenberg, the topic of OCD is dealt with by describing the different forms of compulsions and behaviors, contributing and noncontributing factors (pathophysiology), and then the care rendered for the disorder. The information in this article is believable because of the medical terminology used and the references from which the supporting evidence is drawn. The common results of MRI's and PET's are included in this article. This article is a little easier to understand because it gives more examples of diagnosing OCD. The examples include what behaviors contributing to OCD and what behaviors do not contribute to OCD. This knowledge makes it easier to understand what the topic is truly dealing with.

The articles are contrasted in three different ways. Each article appears to be tailored to a different audience. The first article is written in such a way that any reader is able to understand what the article is about and gives a real basic understanding of OCD and how it is treated. For example, the article explained how patients may have raw hands from excessive washing (Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Unearthing a hidden problem, 1). The second article is intended for doctors to understand the etiology, tools available for diagnosis, and the treatments available for OCD. The etiology of OCD was described in this article by using medical terminology, such as, OCD involved dysfunction in a neuronal loop running from the orbital frontal cortex to the cingulate gyrus, striatum (cuadate nucleus and putamen), globus pallidus, thalamus and back to the frontal cortex (Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 1). The third article was more of a combination of the two previous articles. There was medical terminology that was defined for the reader so they had a better understanding about the content that they were reading. This was demonstrated by Greenberg in his article when he described that physical skin findings may include hair loss related to trichotillomania or compulsive hair pulling (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, 5). From the three descriptions, the reader is able to visualize what trichotillomania is from the description of hair loss and hair pulling. All three of them were similar in treatments available to OCD. All three articles discussed pharmacological treatment with SRI's (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and cognitive behavior therapy as methods of reducing symptoms and anxieties associated with OCD.

When comparing and contrasting the film to the articles, the articles were more scientific. The articles were more scientific because they included data from resources that have done extensive testing on OCD. The article Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders stated: Insel's hypothesis is supported by evidence from MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) studies, which have found an abnormally small caudate in some OCD patients, and by positron emission tomography (PET scan)

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