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“Captain of the Ship” Project – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
Week 7: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
It is getting embarrassing to go to my hair stylist. She always comments on the bald patches on my head. They keep getting bigger as I continue to pull out one strand of hair at a time. I even do it in my sleep. I can’t help myself. It all started when I was in high school when I would pull just from the back. Now I have to wear my hair a specific way so the bald patches don’t show. I don’t even color my hair anymore. I don’t want anyone to notice me. “Captain of the Ship” Project – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders.
Michelle, age 27
Although actual statistics vary, obsessive-compulsive disorder impacts approximately 1.2% of the population in the United States (APA, 2013, p. 239). It is characterized by the presence of obsessive thoughts, which are manifested as persistent thoughts, images, or even “urges.” The only way that the individual can disperse the anxiety of these persistent thoughts/images or urges is to perform a behavior (the compulsion). The compulsion could be checking things, counting, reciting a silent prayer, or repeating a number of phrases. The disorder becomes so pervasive that the person can spend a significant amount of time each day attending to the compulsion in order to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsession.
This week, you will, once again, become “captain of the ship” as you take full responsibility for a client with an obsessive-compulsive disorder by recommending psychopharmacologic treatment and psychotherapy, identifying medical management needs and community support, and recommending follow-up plans. You also will evaluate your progress in completing your certification plan. “Captain of the Ship” Project – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders.
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