Let's review together!
The DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) had included the following are some of the mental disorders in the section of obsessive-compulsive related disorders:
- presence of obsessions AND/OR compulsions
> obsessions: recurrent & persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are considered by the person as unwanted or intrusive
> compulsions: repetitive behaviors/mental acts that an individual feels driven to perform in response to obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly
2. Body Dysmorphic Disorder
3. Hoarding Disorder
Which among these intrigues you the most? Care to share something related to the topic?
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.), 235-236. Arlington, VA.
Browsing my own copy of the DSM, there are couple of really interesting facets and ones that I can imagine may make life almost unbearabe.
The first of these might be classified under obsessions but it's rather hard to tell. On page 679 of my copy it makes an observation that those with OCD may be highly 'inflexible' on matters of morality or ethics. This may be due to the excessively concscientious predilection those with OCD may possess.
But this extensive and unforgiving approach is applied to oneself as readily as it is another, and so there isn't what one might call a hypocritical stance, rather that the inflexibility may cause significant mental distress when of course the patient fails to live up to the oppressive standards - or when those closest to them fails in this regard. This can, I imagine, cause one to become socially isolated as friends or family struggle to cope with the symptoms and the inflexibility.
I think one of the tragedies of OCD is how lightly it can be taken by the public who only observe the repetitive behaviours without acknowledging the severe detriment to one's health, especially in the realm of obsessive thoughts which can take on a bewildering array of grotesque forms.
For instance, I found an article (Starcevic et al, 2013) that looked at the characteristics of some of these obsessive thoughts , by applying a specialised checklist to 154 participants. Building on the work of other research, the authors again find some recurring pattern of obessive thoughts such as religious, impulsive or aggressive thoughts and sexual obsessions.
What was interesting was that obsessions were predicted by greater levels of hostility and a past history of "non-alcohol substance abuse". The difficulty with the substance abuse connection as indicated by the authors is very much the 'chicken and the egg' problem in which we have to ask which came first the substance abuse or was the substance abuse due to suffering from taboo thought processes.
Perhaps one of the worst features of this illness is the degree to which the mind persecutes the patient with unwanted thought processes and cognitions. The other symptomology is of course devastating, but with the mind itself attacked, there would seem to be no solace offered by the mind itself.
The consistent misunderstanding by the public is by no means limited to OCD, but I think is especially pervasive with regards to this disorder.
'Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder' in DSM - 5 (5th ed), American Psychiatric Association. (2013).
Brakoulias, V., Starcevic, V., Berle, D., Milicevic, D., Moses, K., Hannan, A., … Martin, A. (2013). The characteristics of unacceptable/taboo thoughts in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 54(7), 750–757. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPPSYCH.2013.02.005