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The History of OCD

July 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 178

History of OCD

Most people know what OCD is, but they don't know the history behind it. OCD has changed a lot over time, especially with the new treatment methods that are available today. Individuals who suffered from this disorder in the past can vary greatly from those who suffer from it today. OCD didn't have its name back in the 14th and 15th centuries. There were simply people that had obsessions and compulsions that they could not control.

Most people believed that these were caused by supernatural forces, like the devil and demons. In time, new explanations for why people dealt with obsessions and compulsions came to light. Sufferers were known to have "scrupulosity", which meant that they dealt with an extreme anxiety that caused the disorder. While OCD might not have been called by this name, people still suffered from similar symptoms.

People who did have scrupulosity would go and see clergy members to heal them. Since so many people did deal with this, the clergy became very good with soothing the symptoms and books started to be written soon after. The earliest published account of OCD was written in 1436 by Margery Kempe. The treatment method during these times was obedience to a spiritual advisor. This was said to be the cure as long as individuals were dedicated in everything they did.

History of OCD in the 1600s

Once the 1600s hit, the medical side of this disorder started to come to light. Treatments were being challenged by those who were in the medical field. Physicians did not have a lot of tools to help treat their patients in the 1700 hundreds, so they tried a variety of different things. Some physicians even tried to treat patients by giving them laxatives and enemas, hoping they would be cured by cleansing their body. Some of the most common obsessions and compulsions in the 1700s and 1800s were: fear of syphilis, harming other people, compulsive washing and more. The number of symptoms continued to increase with each century.

History of OCD in the 1700s and 1800s

Once the 1700s were well under way, OCD sufferers were considered to be mentally ill. They were institutionalized so doctors were able to keep an eye on them and learn more about the illness. Most people were involuntary committed, even if they only showed one sign of obsession or compulsion. The institutions quickly became known as madhouses by those who were against them.

When the 19th century came around, doctors agreed that OCD was not insanity or even a form of it. This triggered the response of releasing people from asylums because they felt that patients could not benefit from them. Doctors were now interested in better classifying this illness so they could better help patients in the future and learn how to cure it. Since so many mental illnesses were becoming apparent, doctors needed to name them and learn more about how they work.

Classification of OCD

Since OCD still did not have a name, physicians would go by talking about obsessions and compulsions. The different symptoms of each of these were discussed by doctors from all over to help classify the cause. One of the most common treatments during this time was opium. In addition to this, morphine was also prescribed three times per day. Some doctors even recommended that their patients take low doses of arsenic. As the 18th century came to a close, doctors were realizing that the addictive properties of opium might outweigh the potential benefits. This meant that other treatments needed to be explored.

During the 20th century, Sigmund Freud and Pierre Janet explored this illness further to determine where it came from. This is when it became known as obsessive-compulsive disorder instead of simply obsessions and compulsions. As time grew this illness was researched and studied even more. The ideas that Freud came up with were taken over by new ideas.

More books were written, prescription medications, like Anafranil, were given and new drugs were developed. The media soon started taking notice of OCD, which is why it's become so widely recognized today. There are even charity foundations dedicated to helping sufferers find treatment options that work for them. Some people choose therapy, some read self-help books and others take medications prescribed by their physicians.

Visit http://www.ocd-articles.com for more articles about the OCD Disorder

Source: EzineArticles
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