Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Is a Term Paper

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The resulting anxiety then is managed by training children to use strategies that help them work with their anxiety in a more effective and less disruptive way.

Anxiety management techniques may include relaxation training, distraction, or imagery. Often, OCD is personified as something that makes the child perform an action. Thus, children learn to assess situations and ask themselves if they really want to do something, as opposed to the perception that the OCD is making them do something. With cognitive behavioral therapy, the initial goals are specific to one or two behaviors. However, as the patient becomes successful in coping with these situations, generalization usually occurs to other symptoms that have not been targeted. Usually, the patient reports an overall reduction in obsessive thoughts, general anxiety, and the need to perform certain actions.

Treatment of OCD in adults has demonstrated that medications are effective, and the existing studies of children with OCD using medications also tend to suggest some benefit (Kaplan & Hollander, 2003).

Cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy work well together clinically (Zohar, Chopra, Sasson, Amiaz, & Amital, 2000). While cognitive behavioral therapy requires a skilled therapist and 10-20 sessions to complete, its advantage is that once the skills are learned, the patient can use them in the future.


In summary, OCD is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts and/or repetitive behaviors. No definitive cause for this condition exists, although serotonin brain uptake is thought to play a significant role. Specific criteria exist for diagnosis of OCD. Effective treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with OCD and other anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives.

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