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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Quirky behavior or something more serious? Obsessive Compulsive

Disorder or OCD affects nearly two to three percent of the U.S.

population. OCD affects both males and females, but males start to

show signs of OCD at an earlier age, between the ages of six and

fifteen, while in females it tends to occur later. "Obsessive

Compulsive Disorder.

"OCD." April 2000). A

good example of OCD can be viewed in the movie "As Good As It Gets."

In this movie, Jack Nicholson plays a character who uses a bar of

soap once, then throws it away, constantly checks the locks on doors

to make sure they're locked before leaving. He must sit at the same

table, in the same restaurant and have the same waitress every day.

If his routines are changed, in any way, it causes to have an anxiety

attack. "OCD."

March 2000).

Just being "quirky" or a "perfectionist" doesn't mean someone

has OCD. Because people always get things done ahead of time, or have

weird "obsessions", doesn't mean that they are Obsessive Compulsive

it may be that they hold themselves to a higher standard of living.

Only when the behaviors begin to interfere with everyday living, is

it considered to be OCD."OCD." March 2000).

One of many causes of OCD is felt to be, an imbalance in

serotonin, which is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain and

is believed to control the receptive behaviors. The belief is

strengthened due to the fact that medication taken to enhance the

action of serotonin appears to help the patients greatly. Childhood

ailments, such as throat infections may induce OCD, also, genetic

factors may play a role in the contraction of the disorder. A study

done at the MAYO clinic, is that, some people have a biological

predisposition to react strongly to stress, a reaction that for some

reason evokes the intrusive thoughts, anxieties and ritual

characteristics of Obsessive Compulsive Dissorder."OCD." March 200).

There are a lot of different treatments for OCD. One of which is

Behavior therapy. Behavior therapy helps a lot of people by exposing

them to a feared object or obsession, while not allowing the person

to do their anxiety-reducing compulsion. An example of this would be

making a person touch something that they considered to be

contaminated, but not allowing them wash their hands afterwards. This

type of treatment lasts about seven to ten weeks and has a 50 to 90

percent chance of improving the patients behavior.

Another form of treatment is medication, such as Paxil, Zoloft,

Prozac, and Luvox. Paxil, or paroxetine, is prescribed for depression

and OCD. The usual dosage is about 20 to 50 mg a day. Its

side-effects include somnolence, agitation, tremor, anxiety, nausea,

diarrhea, dry mouth, asthenia, vomiting, abnormal ejaculation,

changes in libido, and sweating. "Paxil."


Prozac is an antidepressant, its generic name is fluoxetine. It

also prescribed for the treatment of OCD and depression. The daily

dosage is 20 mg to about 80 mg. The side-effects of this drug are the

chills, anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness, fatigue, anorexia, nausea,

decreased libido, abnormal ejaculation, diarrhea, dizziness and



Another drug is Zoloft, Zoloft's generic name is sertraline. It

is an antidepressant that is chemically unrelated to tricyclic, or

tetracyclic, or other available antidepressant agents. The usual

dosage for Zoloft is about 50 mg to 200 mg every day. The most common

side-effects are dry mouth, sweating, dizziness, tremor, nausea,

diarrhea, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and somnolence."Zoloft."


The last of the commonly prescribed drugs is Luvox, it is also

called fluvoxamine. It's indicated for the treatment of obsessions

and compulsions in patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It's

also approved for OCD in children and adolescents. The daily dose




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