Katie WilliamsPinionEnglish 4a12-17-17OCD in the Media    OCD is a real mental disorder that affects 2.3 percent of the population per year on average. TV and social media give people the idea that it is just a cute personality trait. They often give an incomplete picture of the disorder. OCD is not a quirk but is often portrayed as one, which dismantles the accuracy of the disorder in the eye of the public, and to fix this all we have to do is inform people.    Now what exactly is OCD? Many people believe that OCD is a pronoun to describe a person that Loves to clean their house, constantly organize things, or even obsessively wash their hands and that is all there is to it. That is far from the truth, while there are a lot of people with the compulsion to clean, organize, or wash their hands there are many other types of compulsions such as “following a strict routine, demanding reassurances, checking doors repeatedly to make sure they’re locked, counting in certain patterns, and silently repeating a prayer, word or phrase” (Mayo Clinic Staff). These are some of the main types of compulsions in OCD, but every case is different. Compulsions are not the only part of OCD, obsessions play the key role in the disorder. Without them the disorder does not exist “OCD obsessions are repeated, persistent and unwanted thoughts, urges or images that are intrusive and cause distress or anxiety” (Mayo Clinic Staff). Obsessions are what drive the compulsions but no one wants to hear about them because it is an unpleasant thing to talk about for most individuals. Some of the most common obsessions are thoughts like the “fear of being contaminated by touching objects or people doubts that you’ve locked the door or turned off the stove, intense stress when objects aren’t orderly or facing a certain way, avoiding triggers like objects, places, and actions” (Mayo Clinic Staff). These thoughts that people have can be very pressing in the sufferers mind. Obsessions are commonly left out of the media which often leads people to have and incomplete base of knowledge on the subject. This can lead to a lot of people going in and spending money on an expensive therapy session and not getting diagnosed with the OCD that they thought they had. In order to be diagnosed with OCD you must meet with a doctor and meet the following criteria: “unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress” (Simon 1).  This is what sets OCD apart from the ‘neat freak’ or ‘germaphobic’ personality disorder. Scientists have not yet discovered the root cause of the disorder, but they have three main theories, “OCD may be a result of changes in your body’s own natural chemistry or brain functions, or it may have a genetic component, but specific genes have yet to be identified, lastly some environmental factors such as infections are suggested as a trigger for OCD, but more research is needed” (Mayo Clinic Staff). OCD is not something that just happens one day, it may show up later in life, but it takes a while before the symptoms can become strong enough for someone to notice it. This is important to know because there are a lot of people who have previously never heard of the disorder that think the person with OCD just made it up as an excuse one day. There is, in no way shape or form in which you can you prevent it. Even though this is not a complete explanation of OCD it covers the basics of the disorder.     The media often gives people impressions about OCD that are not necessarily accurate. That takes away from people being able to recognise the disorder in order to go and get help. OCD in  “popular entertainment has not only stripped viewers of their ability to empathize and support those who struggle with OCD but has also caused many who suffer from it to remain undiagnosed and unable to access the assistance they need because they don’t match popular representations of what they may have been suffering from for years” (Martin 3). In many ways this is more harmful to people who have OCD then you might imagine. If you were that weird person that has to have everything the same way every time or ‘obsessively’ clean things wouldn’t you wonder why you were so different from other people, or if everyone else experienced this level of anxiety in their everyday lives? It would be a horrible thing to have to deal with all of the time. But it doesn’t end there. Many people who have already been diagnosed with OCD are also affected, “the need to “perform” mental illness is indicative of a trend in contemporary society to identify difference through visual means. In other words, the need to have a visible (in this case compulsive) behavior is demonstrated through cultural artifacts in order to make a legitimate claim on being a figure with a psychiatric disability” (Martin 1). This need comes from other people who think OCD is made up of the compulsions they often hear about or see in the media. In order for sufferers to get any better they need to work through their problems without having to pretend to be someone else. If their obsessions revolve around something other than what they are pretending they do, people around them will try to be supportive of something that does not exist while where they really need help is being disregarded and that is even worse than not having any support at all. OCD is not a joking matter, but due to the effects of TV and social media it has become a norm. Sarah was diagnosed OCD and noted that “A GP said I had OCD and referred me to a psychologist. I had no idea what OCD was but I remember people making a joke of it. Most people don’t understand the emotions and debilitation. You know that what you are doing or thinking is irrational, but you can’t stop yourself” (Marinos). When people joke about OCD it really can hurt the individual suffering with it or even a close family member. This may cause the individual to try and hide the disorder even though suppressing the compulsions can make things much worse later on. Not only does joking about OCD hurt the people who have the disorder, but can also deter people who might have it from going and getting it checked out by a general practitioner. Now some people may even “confesses to a ‘touch of OCD’, or obsessive compulsive disorder, and it seems a growing number of movie stars and sporting heroes are affected too. While many see it as an amusing side effect of a quirky personality, OCD can be a serious and often debilitating condition” (Sathicq). Most people just go along with what they see on TV and do not realize the true horrors that lie behind the mask of the ‘cute and quirky’ compulsions. TV and the media have a huge impact on the lives of people with OCD and those around them, but what can we do to help them out a little.    The root of the problem lies in the misconception  from TV and the media, so in order to fix it all we have to do is inform people about OCD to the fullest extent of the word. Our language is full of wacky words and phrases and “The problem of misrepresentation of mental health is in many ways a problem of culture and language” (Martin 2). This is why if we put out what the actual disorder is and what it looks like people might take a little more care around the subject. When people are informed in such a manner that inspires them to want to do more they make a much bigger impact. For instance someone may want to raise money to help fund research for a cure, or find other ways to help support people with OCD If more people were informed, then more people with OCD might get a diagnosis that will allow them to seek the help they need. Without a referral from a GP you can not go and get help from psychologists or from medicine. There are a few different treatments people can get to help them, some more effective than others. CBT is the most common form of treatment which can either be in groups or one on one with a psychologist. You can also get  ” medication for OCD caused by a chemical imbalance. These may work for a good portion of the time but “if you hit a stressful patch in life, OCD can be triggered again” (Marinos). Despite the fact that TV has everyone hooked on the idea that medication is a bad thing, it can really help someone out of a tough mental loop like OCD. But for some people neither of these work. Although it is not commonly used deep brain stimulation (DBS) may work on patients that have not responded to any other treatments. DBS involves either putting metal probes into the brain and using small bits of electricity to stimulate the brain or non invasively placing patches on the scalp and doing the same thing (The National Institute of Mental Health). Going in for initial help is the hardest part of the process. There is such a fear of stigma from watching the TV and media that sometimes an individual will not go in at all due to the amount of anxiety this causes. Letting people know that you fully understand  and care about their health can make a visit much easier. This is why holding events such as lectures, and giving out bracelets and other small tokens for people who wish to wear their support can greatly encourage those with OCD. But before you can give away free bracelets, it is a good idea  let the consumer know all about OCD, weather that is verbally or through handouts this is what will truly make a difference.    Weather or not you know someone who suffers from OCD you can still make a difference in the lives of many people who have the disorder. All you have to do is tell the people you know the truth about OCD and have each one of them tell one person to pass it on, who knows how many people will become informed. OCD is not a cute or funny personality trait but rather a disabling mental disorder. Most people may not know the whole truth about OCD because TV and the media portray it so incorrectly which causes a lot of problems for people with OCD. But a little information goes a long ways and can help a great many people.     Works Cited1.Makin, Simon. “An Inner Look into the Minds and Brains of People with OCD. (Cover Story).” Scientific American Mind, vol. 29, no. 7, Jan/Feb2018, p. 42. EBSCOhost,http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true=f5h=126631276=ehost-liveThis is part of a study that looks into what causes someone to react the way they act and how their environment around them helps to drive their actions. With this research they could delve much deeper into the core of the disorder and figure out how to stop it at its roots. I will use this to describe the initial thought on how someday we might be able to cure the disorder completely.2.   Marinos, Sarah, “O.C.D. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW” Consumer Health Complete powered by EBSCOhost, May 2015http://web.a.ebscohost.com/chc/detail?vid=22=d6f12920-cf9a-4812-92b9-6d3fc90d39a3%40sessionmgr4009=JnNpdGU9Y2hjLWxpdmU%3d#AN=101959419=cmh ‘O.C.D. What You Need To Know’ is a peer reviewed article that discusses how to effectively get help if you need it, and how there are a lot of people in the world that suffer from OCD. I am going to discuss the fact that there is a common misconception about what OCD actually is and how to fix it and one very important step is to show people with OCD that they are not alone.3.   Mayo Clinic Staff. “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Sept. 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354432.The mayo clinic is very well known for being a point of reference when other doctors cannot figure out what’s wrong. More importantly is an open source of information on just about any disease or disorder you can think of.  It allows me to insert true facts about OCD into the essay and be able to intelligently talk about the subject and the problems that come with it.4.The National Institute of Mental Health. “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Jan. 2016, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtmlThis article describes some of the existing treatments that are commonly used in today’s patients. This includes medications and therapies which is helpful, but not perfect. As of right now when something stressful happens to a person or the treatment begins to wear off OCD can come right back which is why we have to keep funding research to develop better ways of getting rid of it. This leads into part of the solution my essay will be talking about. If you could easily get rid of the disorder there would be less inaccurate show’s, signs, posts, etc. that would damage the image of OCD allowing people to go in for help without social stigmas leading them away from it.Source#5Sathicq, Larraine “Spotlight on OCD.”, Consumer Health Complete powered by EBSCOhost, July,2016,http://web.a.ebscohost.com/chc/detail?vid=13&sid=d6f12920-cf9a-4812-92b9-6d3fc90d39a3%40sessionmgr4009&bdata=JnNpdGU9Y2hjLWxpdmU%3d#AN=115448897&db=cmhThis article talks about different actors and actresses that have had OCD. Most people don’t think about how famous people can have mental disorders behind the door. For some people this is a good thing to know because it allows them to feel a little better represented because it comes from someone who has experienced it personally. This will provide a little bit of contradiction to my main topic of how OCD is misrepresented in the media which is good, because with a little contradiction your reader is more likely to believe you under the impression that you have fully done your research on both sides of the issue. As long as there isn’t too much contradiction goes a long way.Source#6Tristan Gorrindo, M.D. Ranna Parekh, M.D., M.P.H. “What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?” American Psychiatric Association, July 2017, www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ocd/what-is-obsessive-compulsive-disorder.This article goes into a little bit of how to recognize people with potential for an OCD diagnosis. This is helpful coming from a professional in the field because they will give you the full on truth of who may or may not have the condition. In my essay I will go a little ways into how to recognise the symptoms since in order for someone who has not noticed them on their own to get help they may need someone who is able to point it out to them. If a person is misinformed or not informed at all this cannot happen. Also they will have no idea about how to react to the condition of someone who has it.Source#7Martin, Sam, “Madness in the Media: Demystifying the Emergence of an OCD Trope in Television” (2017).All Theses. 2724. http://tigerprints.clemson.edu/all_theses/2724This may be the most important article in the entire paper. This paper has been accepted by senior University professors. It is written from the point of view of someone who has OCD and later goes on to discuss how public misconception are based off of the characters on the TV show that they watch. This is particularly damaging to sufferers because when people try to sympathise with them they only know about the compulsions and nothing about the hardest part of the disorder which is the battle inside for control. This is crucial to my essay because the main problem that I am discussing is how all of the public’s misconceptions make everything so much worse for the people with the disorder.

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