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OCD and Related Disorders

OCD and Related Disorders

OCD

The letters “OCD” stand for “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”. Although we all have idiosyncratic habits and recurring thoughts – we often refer to them as “quirks” – for most people they are little more than annoyances. But for some individuals, such thoughts and behaviors spin out of their own control and come to interfere with their ability to function.

Related to OCD are the so-called “Pathological Behavior Disorders”, which include Gambling Disorder but also appear to be associated with excessive Internet use, on-line gaming, on-line shopping, and Internet pornography, are receiving more and more attention as families and individuals notice and are forced to deal with so-called Internet-addiction, and even addictive social networking. Although this last group of issues associated with pathological behaviors is not (yet) recognized in the current version of the DSM (DSM-5), ever fewer helping professionals are willing to deny they are both real and may require professional treatment.

Prior to 2013, OCD and pathological behavior disorders were grouped together with anxiety disorders. Because of their rise in prevalence (now estimated as affecting 1 in 25 individuals) and because the standard treatments for anxiety disorders do not seem to remedy OCD and its cousins, in DSM-5 they were moved to their own Chapter.

Thanks to hundreds of studies using brain imaging techniques (including qEEG), we now know that this group of disorders reflects disregulation of several parts of the brain, both in the cortical and subcortical areas. Fortunately, these areas are sensitive to neurotherapy and the condition is readily treatable through a combination of noninvasive techniques and does not require medications.

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