Slide 9: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: pervasive pattern of intrusive, unwanted thoughts
accompanied by ritualistic behaviours; compulsion makes them do things that if they didn’t do,
would make them very anxious.
Obsession: recurrent involuntary thought or image.
Compulsion: repetitive carrying out of a pointless ritual (i.e. constantly checking to make sure
the stove is off); repetitive behaviours that they engage in without being able to control them
VIDEO ON OCD
OCD is characterized by recurring and disturbing images or thoughts or ideas referred to as
obsessions and/or behaviours that the person feels driven to perform (compulsions or rituals)
OCD sufferers know that their behaviours are irrational.
Serotonin may be out of balance for those with OCD.
Slide 11: Hypochondriasis: persistent exaggerated fear that one is suffering a physical illness;
excessive fear of being ill.
Hypochondriacs tend to interpret their physical symptoms as indicative of a serious illness (keep
lots of medications on hand); they are very alert to any symptoms/anything they may be feeling,
and have a tendency to always assume the worst. They quickly seek medical attention and expect
the worst. If the tests are negative, they worry that something was overlooked.
VIDEO ON HYPOCHONDRIASIS
Intense anxiety that individual is ill, or even dying; every single symptom sends sufferers to the
Childhood/upbringing may be responsible for hypochondriasis.
Slide 13: Causes of Anxiety Disorders: the causes are complex, and some are more relevant to
some disorders than to others:
-Stressful life (having faced danger, ex. car accident; a learned anxiety, can be very severe)
-Childhood adversity (parental neglect, worry, abuse, a person whose needs were not met
as a child, grew up to be insecure, constant worry about safety, resources, etc.)
-Attachment style (insecure attachment, perhaps child does not develop reliable relation
with parent, secure attachment)