Obsessive compulsive disorder

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The tale of lark which gradually sold all its feathers for fat worms
“What happens in the life of a man who chooses such a path is well illustrated by the tale of lark which gradually sold all its feathers for fat worms. A businessman constantly comes to him with an offer every day, again and again. The first choice had been carefully hesitant, but next ones took less courage and prudence. The subsequent choices became quite a matter of routine until the hour of truth has been reached and then it was disclosed that lark could not take off any more. This is the typical way how obsessive-compulsive disorder is created. At first, there is ‘just’ an initial choice, but then it is followed by forming a certain habit, which may eventually lead to an addiction that is very difficult to change or revert. All compulsive courses of action are strongly resistant to change and lead people, over and over, into the same pattern of behavior, despite it can cost them a hard price, in extreme case even their own life.[note 1]
— Štěpán Rucki[2]

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by the presence of either obsessions or compulsions. Obsessions are frequent, disturbing, pervasive, and/or intrusive thoughts, usually unwanted, that the person is unable to prevent (e.g., repeated thoughts of harming oneself or another person, aggressive behavior towards other people). Persons suffering from OCD are trying to neutralize their tensions and anxiety coming from obsessions by compulsions.[3] Compulsions are typically specific nonsensical behaviors or certain compulsive repetitive actions[4] (e.g., handwashing due to a fear of germs) that the affected individual feels compelled to perform over and over again; being prevented from engaging in these behaviors causes extreme anxiety. OCD patients may recognize that their obsessions or compulsions are excessive.

The most famous literary example of person suffering from obsessions and compulsions is Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, and the most famous of the living people was Charles Darwin.[3]

Initial Choices

Addictions and deeply embedded compulsive behavior patterns differ from true illnesses in that their progressive alteration of the brain is directed by choices, especially initial choices. They are therefore reinforced by the progressive erosion of the ability to choose differently. The capacity for moral choice is gradually undermined as the compulsion tightens its grip.[5]

Destroying effects of compulsive pursuits

An outcome not that different from the life- and relationship-destroying effects of many compulsive pursuits to which men are prey − chemical, sexual, and otherwise, can be illustrated by controlled experiment with lower animals. The rats were given a lever to press that fed them simple water and cocaine. The rats pressed the lever to the point of starvation, physical exhaustion, and death, ignoring hunger entirely. This demonstrates the incredible power of pleasure-related mechanisms in the brain. The brain has certain areas whose primary function is to create a feeling of "pleasure" only under specific circumstances. Although the mechanism whereby this occur is chemical, as a prime example, the pleasure areas of the brain are most intensely activated at the moment of sexual orgasm.[5]

The faded compulsions due to experience

The experience can both change the emotional patterns and shape the brain. People suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder can be treated with either the standard drug treatment or with behavioral therapy. The remarkable finding is that the latter one can gradually, through months of sessions involving experience in form of the systematic exposition to the object of obsession or compulsion without performing it, significantly decrease the activity of a key part of the emotional brain. The experience can change brain function and relieve symptoms as effectively as the medication.[6]

OCD and Pornography

Victor Cline, psychologist and psychotherapist, concluded, based on experience with treatment of ca 300 sex addicts, sex offenders, and victims of sexual abuse, that pornography consumption has a causal effect leading to sexual obsessions and possibly even criminal acts. In this respect, he identifies a five step process:[7]
1. An early contact with pornography
2. Addiction
3. Escalation
4. Desensibilization
5. Acting-out
Prevention also means fighting the demand - and here we face the sad truth that many 'customers' who pay for sex acts are neither poor nor undereducated. However, their education falls short of teaching them that the women apparently available for their pleasure are hurting and trapped in an evil trade from which there is no easy exit. Pornography is often a factor, being addictive, presenting women as objects, destroying healthy relationships and creating the demand for more and more novelty and younger and younger girls. This culture leaves the door wide open for exploitation and crime.[8]

When a man or woman, addicted to pornographically viewing and using other human beings, converts to Christ as Lord and Savior, and submits to His Will, and realizes that every human being viewed as an object of pornographic stimulation is a soul for whom the Son of God died to save from hell, progress has begun toward overcoming the addiction as being an undesirable evil to be shunned and avoided, with constant recourse to prayer for the helping gift of the grace and power of the Holy Spirit joined to sincere contrition and purpose of amendment of life. Frequent sincere repentance, and exposure to various "holy reminders", and confession joined to pastoral counseling and psychotherapy, focusing on active involvement in corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and trusting in God's compassionate, forgiving mercy without being discouraged, has produced remarkable results.

The methods of treatment

There are two primary methods of treatment for OCD. Exposure therapy is a method in which the OCD sufferer is exposed to the thing that he or she fears and prevented from engaging in compensating behaviors. For example, a patient who washes his hands for hours due to fear of germs may be exposed to germs in a public restroom and not allowed to wash his hands. Repeated exposure teaches the patient that the fear is excessive, diminishing anxiety and compulsive behavior. OCD is also sometimes treated with SSRIs, a form of anti-depressant medication. Exposure therapy is generally considered the preferable mode of treatment, because the effects are long-lasting, whereas the beneficial effects of medication fade when the drug is discontinued.

The signs and symptoms of OCD have been tragically mistaken for signs of demonic possession. The possibility of demonic possession or oppression is almost non-existent, and should be the last suspicion. If anyone is observed experiencing any conditions suggestive of possession, experienced pastoral care counsellors, mental health and medical professionals, and experts in paranormal phenomena and research, all strongly advise immediately contacting a physician for further evaluation. A medical consultation should always be the first step.

The inappropriate usage of the term

The term is routinely used in liberal psychobabble propaganda attacks against Christianity by undermining the doctrine of Priesthood of all believers and its derivative the Protestant work ethic.


  1. For exmaple, such was apparently the case of Michel Foucault, partisan of homosexual lifestyle, who in 1983 autumn undertook what would be his last trip to San Francisco. At that time, he was obviously preoccupied by his AIDS problem and the possibility that he himself will die from this mortal disease.[1]


  1. GRENZ, Stanley J. (1996). A Primer on Postmodernism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 126. ISBN 978-08028-08646. 
  2. Štěpán Rucki (April 2001). "Homosexualita: normální varianta lidského chování? (Homosexuality: A normal variant of human behavior?)" (in Czech). Zápas o duši (Reformace.cz) (68). http://www.reformace.cz/zod/homosexualita-normalni-varianta-lidskeho-chovani-cislo-68. Retrieved 7 November 2015. "To, co se děje v životě člověka, jenž volí takovou cestu, vystihuje velmi dobře pohádka o skřivánkovi, který postupně prodal veškeré svoje peří za tučné červíky. Obchodník k němu přicházel s touto nabídkou postupně každý den znovu a znovu. První volba byla opatrná, další stála již méně odvahy a opatrnosti. Následující volby již byly celkem rutinní záležitostí a přicházely celkem jednoduše, až nastala hodina pravdy a skřivánek již nemohl vzlétnout. Toto je typická cesta, jak vzniká nutkavá (kompulzivní) porucha chování. Zprvu je to počáteční volba, následuje vznik určitého zvyku, který může nakonec vyústit do závislosti, jež se velice těžce mění. Všechny nutkavé způsoby jednání jsou velice rezistentní (odolné) proti změně a vedou lidi stále znovu a znovu ke stejnému chování, i když je to stojí velmi mnoho, ba dokonce i život.". 
  3. 3.0 3.1 (2008) Obsedantně-kompulzivní porucha a jak ji zvládat (Obsessive-compulsive disorder and how to handle it) (in Czech). Galén, 23. ISBN 978-7262-53-4. Retrieved on 7 November 2015. “Obsese a kompulze jsou dávno známou poruchou. Nejzná- mějším literárním příkladem je Shakespearova Lady Macbeth, nejslavnějším z postižených byl Charles Darwin.” 
  4. Slovník cudzích slov (akademický): kompulzia (Compulsion) (Slovak). Ľ. Štúr Institute of Linguistics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) (2005). Retrieved on 7 November 2015. “kompulzia lek., psych. nutkavé, nezmyselné opakovanie určitých pohybov al. konaní, ktorým sa postihnutý nemôže ubrániť”
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jeffrey Burke Satinover (1996). "11", Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. Baker Books, 140, 175–6. ISBN 9780801056253. 
  6. Daniel Goleman (1996). Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. Bantam Books, 257–8. ISBN 978-05538-40070. “Note:URL is for later edition” 
  7. Gabriele Kuby. Globálna Sexuálna Revolúcia. Strata Slobody v mene Slobody. (Global Sexual Revolution. The loss of Freedom in the name of Freedom.) (in Slovak). Bratislava, Slovakia: Lúč. ISBN 978-80-7114-922-4. “The title in German original is “Die Globale sexualle Revolution.”” 
  8. Deborah Meroff (2011). Europe:Restoring Hope. OM Books, 22. ISBN 978-3-941750-06-7. 

See also