Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
“Recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress.”
When Damien was little, he was not only into dinosaurs, but he felt he must be a dinosaur on a daily basis. It was dinosaurs 24/7. As Damien has matured, his interests have expanded. The obsessions are still there, but I understand now that they are necessary so he can function from day to day. Damien also has an obsession with foods. He could have french toast, boiled eggs, tuna, and peanut butter every single day and be absolutely happy.
“The thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems.”
Damien has a daily spinning time where he jams out to his iPod and walks in circles in his room for an hour. Without this time, Damien has great difficulty getting to sleep at night.
“The person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action.”
When Damien was little, he would constantly saying he got thoughts of being a dinosaur and he needed to ‘put them in the garbage.’ Now, he does not fight his obsessive thoughts. He knows that he has to work with them to be able to function.
“Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.”
Damien has an obsession with brushing his teeth. He tries to brush his teeth five or six times a day at least. When he was little, we finally had to lock up the toothpaste and toothbrushes. If I do not let him when we are at home, Damien will brush his teeth at other peoples houses.
“The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, are time consuming (take more than 1 hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person’s normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.”
The dinosaur thing interfered with all aspects of Damien’s life. Now, he has “scheduled” his other obsession to the times that he is home.
“If another Axis I disorder is present, the content of the obsessions or compulsions is not restricted to it (e.g., guilty ruminations in the presence of Major Depressive Disorder).”
Damien was once diagnosed with Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder.
“With Poor Insight: if, for most of the time during the current episode the person does not recognize that the obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable.”
Damien sees no problem with any of his many obsessions and does not act as if his behavior is unreasonable. However, he is learning that if it is not typical behaviors, than it may not be socially acceptable.
Anxiety Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition; Social Phobia; Major Depressive Episode; Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Delusional Disorder; Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified; Schizophrenia; Stereotypic Movement Disorder; Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.”