Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • There's a common misconception

  • that if you like to meticulously organize your things,

  • keep your hands clean,

  • or plan out your weekend to the last detail,

  • you might have OCD.

  • In fact, OCD, which stands for obsessive compulsive disorder,

  • is a serious psychiatric condition

  • that is frequently misunderstood by society

  • and mental health professionals alike.

  • So let's start by debunking some myths.

  • Myth one: repetitive or ritualistic behaviors are synonymous with OCD.

  • As its name suggests,

  • obsessive compulsive disorder has two aspects:

  • the intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses, known as obsessions,

  • and the behavioral compulsions people engage in

  • to relieve the anxiety the obsessions cause.

  • The kinds of actions that people often associate with OCD,

  • like excessive hand washing, or checking things repeatedly,

  • may be examples of obsessive or compulsive tendencies

  • that many of us exhibit from time to time.

  • But the actual disorder is far more rare and can be quite debilitating.

  • People affected have little or no control over their obsessive thoughts

  • and compulsive behaviors,

  • which tend to be time consuming

  • and interfere with work, school or social life

  • to the point of causing significant distress.

  • This set of diagnostic criteria is what separates people suffering from OCD

  • from those who may just be a bit more meticulous

  • or hygiene obsessed than usual.

  • Myth two: the main symptom of OCD is excessive hand washing.

  • Although hand washing is the most common image of OCD in popular culture,

  • obsessions and compulsions can take many different forms.

  • Obsessions can manifest as fears of contamination and illness,

  • worries about harming others,

  • or preoccupations with numbers, patterns, morality, or sexual identity.

  • And compulsions can range from excessive cleaning or double checking,

  • to the fastidious arrangement of objects,

  • or walking in predetermined patterns.

  • Myth three:

  • individuals with OCD don't understand that they are acting irrationally.

  • Many individuals with OCD actually understand the relationship

  • between their obsessions and compulsions quite well.

  • Being unable to avoid these thoughts and actions

  • despite being aware of their irrationality

  • is part of the reason why OCD is so distressing.

  • OCD sufferers report feeling crazy

  • for experiencing anxiety based on irrational thoughts

  • and finding it difficult to control their responses.

  • So what exactly causes OCD?

  • The frustrating answer is we don't really know.

  • However, we have some important clues.

  • OCD is considered a neurobiological disorder.

  • In other words, research suggests that OCD sufferers brains

  • are actually hardwired to behave in a certain fashion.

  • Research has implicated three regions of the brain

  • variously involved in social behavior and complex cognitive planning,

  • voluntary movement,

  • and emotional and motivational responses.

  • The other piece of the puzzle

  • is that OCD is associated with low levels of serotonin,

  • a neurotransmitter that communicates between brain structures

  • and helps regulate vital processes,

  • such as mood, aggression, impulse control,

  • sleep, appetite, body temperature and pain.

  • But are serotonin and activity in these brain regions the sources of OCD

  • or symptoms of an unknown underlying cause of the disorder.

  • We probably won't know until

  • we have a much more intimate understanding of the brain.

  • The good news is there are effective treatments for OCD,

  • including medications, which increase serotonin in the brain

  • by limiting its reabsorption by brain cells,

  • behavioral therapy that gradually desensitizes patients to their anxieties,

  • and in some cases, electroconvulsive therapy,

  • or surgery, when OCD doesn't respond to other forms of treatment.

  • Knowing that your own brain is lying to you

  • while not being able to resist its commands can be agonizing.

  • But with knowledge and understanding comes the power to seek help,

  • and future research into the brain

  • may finally provide the answers we're looking for.

There's a common misconception

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B2 TED-Ed ocd compulsive brain obsessive disorder

【TED-Ed】Debunking the myths of OCD - Natascha M. Santos

  • 13588 1124
    稲葉白兎 posted on 2015/09/27
Video vocabulary