OCD Case Examples

OCD affects individuals from all races, religions, and ethnic groups.  Onset of the disorder ranges from ages 11 to 18.  Boys tend to develop symptoms earlier than girls.  Of the children who are diagnosed with OCD, most will experience contamination obsessions.  Adults are more likely to experience so called “bad thoughts” OCD, i.e. religious, sexual, harm and aggressive obsessions.

OCD is equally common in men and women.  Symptoms may come-and-go, change in form, or spontaneuosly remit.  They may be triggered by trauma, rapid change, illness, loss, developmental and hormonal changes, or in reaction to a life experience. OCD is considered a lifelong disorder.

No one knows exactly why a person develops certain obsessions.  It has been suggested, however, that life experience and what one cares or feels passionate about may be a contributing factor.

Frank Morelli, MA, LMHC
P.O. Box 600100
Jacksonville, FL 32260
Telephone:  904-410-6324
Fax:  855-823-3434

Serving everyone in the state of Florida

Case Examples

  • A 13-year-old boy learns in health class that vomiting is an involuntary response to illness. While watching the news with his family one evening, he hears a story about a young man who aspirates vomit during his sleep and dies.  He becomes obsessed about getting ill and vomiting.  The boy shuns anyone who appears to be sick at school.  His friends wonder why he isn’t talking to them.  This boy carries hand sanitizer everywhere he goes, and avoids public restrooms.  He won’t touch food that he thinks might be contaminated by germs.  He avoids all the restaurants that he used to enjoy with his family.  The boy’s parents worry about him.
  • A 21-year-old college woman is involved in her first serious dating relationship.  Like many young women, she wants to look and feel her best.  While flipping through a clothing catalogue, she notices the attractiveness of several female models.  She wonders anxiously if it means she is gay.  She repeatedly asks her boyfriend for reassurance, sometimes to his annoyance.  The young woman avoids being alone with most other women for fear of somehow losing self-control and sexually acting out.  She prays to God continually for forgiveness.  When an obsessive idea is triggered, she tells herself three times that she loves her boyfriend, and mentally rehearses all the ways he makes her feel good.
  • A 35-year-old man loses his beloved uncle suddenly to an accident.  Two years later, he developed an obsession that harm would result to loved ones if he did not move or walk in a special way.  He knew the idea was strange and silly, but he could not stop thinking about it.  The man developed elaborate compulsions that involved stepping in a just right way. The process became time consuming and cumbersome.  Going out in public by himself or with family became an ordeal.

OCD and Anxiety Disorder Specialist

Frank Morelli MA, LMHC | P.O. Box 600100 Jacksonville, FL 32260 | (904) 410-6324

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