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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Examined on A&E's Obsessed

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Examined on A&E's Obsessed


Trina is afraid she’ll murder someone. Nidia has a phobia about her bowel movements. Rick can’t stop compulsively exercising, adding up the numbers on license plates, or turning clockwise at regular intervals. He wants to stay healthy forever and ward off old age.

Like 3.3 million other Americans, they have obsessive compulsive disorder. A&E’s series Obsessed follows them as they work with cognitive behavioral therapists who try to get them to examine the thinking behind their obsessions so that they can replace those beliefs — and the compulsive acts performed on their behalf — with healthier ones. To find out more about OCD and to watch a clip from Obsessed, read more

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of those psychological disorders with an (almost) self-explanatory name. A person with OCD suffers from extreme anxiety based on a phobia about something — germs, a messy room, worry they’ll harm someone. The sufferer, as a result, feels compelled to do something time-consuming and often physically punishing to ward off the fear.

In the case of Nidia in the video here, she had such a fear of her bowel movements that she would shower up to three hours after going to the bathroom, using enemas and toothbrushes with such force that she had to have two blood transfusions from cleaning herself too vigorously. By the end of her CBT treatment, she began to see improvement. Rick, however, did not, making a statement that lends some insight into the disorder: “I have mixed feelings about giving up my compulsions because then I’ll be forced to analyze my compulsions and that person may suck."

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