Monday, March 30, 2020

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association and The National Institute of Mental Health define Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder, consisting of recurring thoughts, ideas, and obsessions that drive people to engage in repetitive behaviors.  About 1.2% of Americans have OCD, slightly more women than men, and typically show symptoms around age 19.

A diagnosis of OCD requires the presence of obsession and/or compulsions that consume more than an hour a day.  OCD causes distress and impairs work, social, or other important functions.  OCD thoughts cannot be settled by logic or reasoning.  It is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy, or both.

The most prominent example of Obsession:

 Fear of germs or contamination.

Examples of Compulsions:

Cleaning:  excessive hand washing and cleaning surroundings
Ordering and arranging things
Check your environment to reduce the fear of harming oneself
Hoarding
Binge eating
Drinking

Health experts in both the private and public sectors have issued a list of Instructions to the entire American population to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Protect yourself from germ-carrying individuals
Wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently
Wash all delivered packages
Clean and disinfect your house daily
Keep a distance of 6 feet from another person
Stay home
Avoid social interactions

If the above measures are faithfully followed, the entire American population will become afflicted with OCD.  With the fear of another pandemic just over the horizon, these behaviors and thoughts will become ingrained in the population.

OCD will become a virtue, not a disorder.

Who knows how many other psychiatric disorders will be transformed into virtues.  Something to think about!

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