Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. is an American psychiatrist and researcher in the field of neuroplasticity and its application to obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Many people with OCD suffer in silence and are shamed by their behaviours. They don't realise it’s a neurological problem which is fully manageable and treatable. Implementation of appropriate treatment produces changes in the brain by strengthening new neurological pathways and weakening old ones allowing the brain to function normally. The symptoms of OCD causes anxiety and depression.
As you can see from the above diagram OCD is a perpetuating cycle. The more you surrender to the urges the stronger the condition becomes.
Although OCD is a complex condition it can be successfully treated and managed. The key management skills for life programme will give you all the tools you need to successfully overcome OCD.
Although there has been much research into the causes of OCD there is not one single conclusive theory. It would generally be a combination of factors including the following:
Genetically inherited genes are thought to play a role in the development of the brain. However there has been no specific gene linked to OCD however OCD does tend to run in families. Therefore a person affected by OCD is four times more likely to have another family member with the condition compared to someone who does not have OCD.
Brain imaging studies of people with OCD have shown increased activity and blood flow and a lack of the brain chemical serotonin.
The area of the brain affected deals with strong emotions and how we react to those emotions. The good news is when successful treatment was implemented, brain activity returned to normal.
Serotonin appears to play a part in OCD. It is not known for sure how serotonin contributes to OCD, but people with OCD appear to have decreased levels of this chemical in their brain. It is a chemical transmitter in the brain that transmits information from one brain cell to another. Serotonin is responsible for regulating appetite, sleep, memory, mood, anxiety, temperature and learning.
Significant life events such as bereavement, moving, losing your job, changing schools, pregnancy, puberty, being bullied can trigger OCD in people who already have the biological predisposition.
Although stress does not cause OCD, it can make the symptoms of OCD worse.
The Obsessive-Compulsive Cognitions Working Group, an international group of researchers who have proposed that the onset and maintenance of OCD are associated with maladaptive interpretations of cognitive intrusions, has identified six types of dysfunctional beliefs associated with OCD:
Some children develop OCD after having a throat infection caused by streptococcal bacteria.
One theory is that antibodies (infection- fighting proteins) produced by the body react with part of the brain, leading to OCD. Streptococcal does not cause OCD, but can trigger symptoms in children who are genetically predisposed to the condition.
Many people with OCD suffer in silence and are shamed by their behaviours. They don't realise it’s a neurological problem which is fully manageable and treatable. Implementation of appropriate treatment produces changes in the brain by strengthening new neurological pathways and weakening old ones allowing the brain to function normally.
2-3% of the population are thought to experience clinical OCD. Many more experience subclinical OCD. OCD is a systemic disorder and can disrupt the lives of the family and carers.
Children of all ages can develop the condition. I will adapt and devise the programme to suit the age development of the child.