Behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of OCD Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of OCD Deck (4)
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Diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

- OCD is an anxiety disorder.
- Characterised by DSM-V as a disorder whereby the patient shows repetitive behaviour (compulsions) and obsessive thinking.


Behavioural characteristics

Compulsive behaviours:
- External component as it can be seen by others.
- Compulsions are repetitive actions that are performed to reduce anxiety created by obsessions.
- The person feels they must perform these otherwise something dreadful will happen - increasing anxiety.

Social impairment:
- Anxiety levels created by obsessions and compulsive behaviour might become so high that the person might not be able to conduct meaningful interpersonal relationships.

- Some OCD sufferers attempt to reduce anxiety by avoiding situations that may trigger it. E.g those who wash their hands continuously might avoid coming into contact with germs by never emptying bins.


Emotional characteristics

High anxiety:
- Obsessions and compulsions are a source of considerable anxiety and distress.
- Sufferers are aware that their OCD is excessive and this causes feelings of embarrassment and shame.
- Might be aware that they cannot consciously control their OCD which leads to feelings of distress.

Accompanying depression:
- Anxiety might be accompanied by low mood and lack of enjoyment.
- Compulsive behaviour brings some relief from anxiety, but this is temporary.

Guilt and disgust:
- Feelings of disgust may be directed against something external like dirt, germs or self.


Cognitive characteristics

- Recurrent, intrusive thoughts or impulses that are perceived as inappropriate or forbidden.
- They may be frightening or embarrassing and the person may not want to share with others.
- Common obsessions include ideas, doubts, impulses or images.
- Obsessions are uncontrollable and cause anxiety.

Recognised as self generated and irrational:
- Most understand that their OCD is self generated but can't stop them.
- They understand that compulsive behaviour and obsessive thoughts are irrational but cannot consciously control or stop them

Attention bias:
- Perception tends to be focused on anxiety generating stimuli.
- They tend to be hyper vigilant and look for things to justify their high anxiety.