Thursday, April 5, 2012

an older research report i wrote

The Classification, Origins and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
The Classification, Origins and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders will go over the symptoms of OCD. A brief walk through of the previously believed causes and explanations of OCD will follow. The past explanations will then pave the way for the current day's explanations and research of OCD. A look into recent research done on the topic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders will provide insight into the complexity and wide variety of causation for OCD. Finally, the causation of Obsession compulsion will lead us to current treatments being used as treatment.
Characteristics of OCD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects 2 to 3 percent of Americans, each affliction varying in severity and extremity (Moyer, 2011). Despite the prevalence of of OCD within the United States, many Americans are not enlightened to its characteristics. Timpano and his colleagues (2010) describe it as “a heterogeneous psychological disorder characterized by recurrent and distressing intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses(obsessions) that provoke anxiety and distress and repetitive behaviors(compulsions) performed to reduce this distress.”
OCD is further categorized by its obsessions; a) aggressive/harm obsessions, b) sexual obsessions, and c)blasphemous obsessions (Stewert, 2004). Agressive obsessions are those characterized by the thought of harming others. Sexual obsessions include those that involve sexual fears or desires and Blasphemous obsessions which include obsessions regarding religious thoughts (Stewert, 2004). Those suffering from the obsessions then go on to suppress them with repetitive actions called compulsions (Moyer, 2011). Some compulsions may seem fairly harmless, such as realigning pencils on a desk to keep them straight; However, other compulsions can be harmful to the afflicted patient's physical, social or mental health, e.g. the repetition of washing hands for hours to rid the body of germs (Nevid, 2009, p. 528). Despite the variety of obsessions, all compulsions act to satisfy or relieve a person from their obsession (Storch et al, 2008, p. 338).
Throughout the years there has been a fascination with the roots of OCD. In the 1600s, it was believed that those suffering from OCD were suffering from “religious melancholy” (Moyer, 2011). In the 1900's Freud suggested that OCD was a sign of repressed instinctual or sexual drives (Moyer, 2011). Finally in 1980, OCD was introduced into the DSM-III as an anxiety disorder (Storch et al, 2008, p. 339). There has been much study in the origins of OCD from many scientists from both an environmental and biological standpoint.
OCD physical/biological causation
Scientist and Psychologist Atul Khullar released an empirical article in 2001 in order to expose the many physical and biological factors involved in OCD. His case study examined a man who had an OCD resulting in hoarding, organization and cleaning rituals (Khullar, 2001). Drugs were given to a patient that varied the efficiency of his 5-HT receptor systems (Khullar, 2001). Depending on the effectiveness of the receptor systems, various changes would occur in the patient such as the increased extremities of obsessions and/or compulsions (Khullar, 2001). Other effects included the change in depression or anxiety levels in the patient with no change in the obsession and compulsion levels(Khullar, 2001). Each affect was achieved through the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), venlafaxine, bupropion, moclobemide or mirtazapine, either as monotherapy or in combination(Khullar, 2001).
Recently, Seoul National University (2011) underwent research measuring neural responses during incentive processing in OCD patients. The scientists went on to find that “Compared to control patients, patients with OCD showed increased ventral striatal activation” and find a correlation between OCD and unusual brain activity compared to a control or non OCD patient (Ovsessive-Compulsive Disorders, 2011).
In 2002 a study discovered that mice lacking a gene in the immune function led to OCD-like behaviors in the test mice (Moyer, 2011). Molecular geneticist Mario R. Capecchi followed up his 2002 study with another in May 2010 with similar results (Moyer, 2011). In 1998, a pediatrician, Susan Swedo of the National Institutes of Mental Health, found OCD symptoms in children that had been acquired only after being infected by group A strepcoccus (Moyer, 2011). Swedo found that the brain developed antibodies that attacked basal ganglia neurons instead of the bacteria and created disruptions in the cortical basal ganglia circuit and created the OCD symptoms (Moyer, 2011).
OCD environmental causation
Although there is much research done on the biological causation of OCD, there is just as much research done on the environmental aspect of OCD. According to Timpano and fellow authors (2010), a major literature by Dr. Rapee and Baumrind investigated the roles of child development in disorders such as OCD. Studies done on different family types classified parenting into 3 different classifications in relation the a level of high or low nurturance/warmth and behavioral control (Khullar, 2001, p. 152) The classifications included families high in only 1 factor or families high in both factors. (Khullar, 2001, p. 152).
Scientists found children experiencing solely on high behavioral control exhibited stress and anxiety levels commonly associated with anxiety and stress resulting from obsessions along with a wide variety of negative outcomes (Khullar, 2001, p. 152-3). Children growing up in families high in only warmth/nurturance showed more positivity and vitality compared to their counterparts, however lacked self control and individuality (Khullar, 2001, p. 153). Further studies showed that low parental warmth was associated with a positive association with obsessional symptoms (Khullar, 2001, p 153). Families high in behavioral control promoted development of thought processes that lead to anxiety and compulsive rituals to cope with unwanted thoughts or frustrations (Khullar, 2001, p 153). Similarly a study from Gateshead, United Kingdom found that external criticism showed strong correlation with the Obsessive Compulsive phenomena (“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders”, 2011). Despite the findings, Gateshead (2011) also proceeded to say, “the fragmented nature of the findings makes it difficult to identify how or why criticism impacts on OCD. . . . future research should consider the complexity of the concept when defining criticism as well as developing methodological designs which could answer questions of causality.”
OCD treatments
There are various treatments that those suffering from OCD go through, but the there are a few that stand out as the most effective and commonly used (Stewert, 2004).
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the most effective treatment for OCD (Moyer, 2011). In ERP, a therapist aids a patient to repeated expose patients to the negative stimulus in hopes of decreasing the anxiety associated with the obsession (Simpson, 2009, p.15). The main idea behind ERP is to steadily acclimate the patient to being exposed to his obsession without ritualizing the compulsion (Simpson, 2009, p.15). In order to achieve the proper effect, therapists are responsible for aiding the patient in realizing that there are no ill effects from not performing the compulsion or ritual associated with the obsession (Moyer, 2011). Ideally, the patient sees that the “stimulus is not linked to generating anxiety in the same way it was” (Moyer, 2011).
ERP has been found to be particularly effective in children and adolescents. (Simpson, 2009, p.16). Simpson (2009, p.16) found “significantly greater improvements were found at the end of treatment and at follow-up in youths who took part in ERP compared with youths who received medication.” In a study published in 2005, it was shown that 60% of ERP participants showed improvement (Moyer, 2011). Although the therapy is quite effective, many eight of 37 students were prone to withdraw before even participating and another 8 were expected to drop out in the middle of treatment (Moyer, 2011). Although ERP attempts to prevent anxiety associated with obsessions, it does so at forcing small amounts of anxiety (Moyer, 2011). Knowledge of this fact discourages many patients from wanting to continue therapy (Simpson, 2009, p16).
A less daunting method of OCD treatment for patients is the use of drugs (Stewert, 2004). The most common drug used for OCD treatment is Serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SRIs (Storch et al, 2008, p. 341). Because the biological causation of OCD points at problems within the serotonin signaling, it is natural that SRIs are the main drug response for obsessive compulsion (Moyer, 2011). SRIs have also been associated with mood lifting and regulation in order to help combat the negative feelings or depression associated with OCD (Storch et al, 2008, p. 338).
Arguments of the Classification of OCD
Recent advancements in the study of OCD has riled some scientist to urge the APA to change the classification of OCD from anxiety disorders to its own category (Storch et al, 2008, p. 337). An anxiety disorder is associated with irregularities caused by anxiety and inability to cope with certain situations; however, OCD pertains to an inability to prevent the cyclical repetition associated with a stimulus (Storch et al, 2008, p. 337). Anxiety is an effect of the obsession and it is the obsession that creates the compulsion, not the anxiety(Storch et al, 2008, p. 337). It is forseen by many specialists that the next iteration of the DSM will likely include the new grouping of OCD (Moyer, 2011).
In conclusion, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders are an understated disorder within the populace and require more research in both the causation and treatment fields. Although there has been much advancement in the field within the past centuries, scientists are still unable to pinpoint the root causes of OCD. The recent movement to change the classification of OCD based on better understanding shows the advancements we have made on the topic of Obsessive compulsion, but in order to treat current and future patients, it is necessary to educate and enlighten more people in the field.
Atul Khullar, Pierre Chue, & Phillip Tibbo. (2001). Quetiapine and obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS): Case report and review of atypical antipsychotic-induced OCS. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience : JPN, 26(1), 55-9. Retrieved May 1, 2011, from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 68431479).
Moyer, M. (2011). Obsessions Revisited. Scientific American Mind, 22(2), 36-41. Retrieved April 20, 2011 from EBSCOhost.
Nevid, J.S (2009). Psychology: Concepts and applications, 3nd. edition. "City: Boston, New York." Houghton Mifflin.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders; Research on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Detailed by Scientists at Seoul National University. (2011, May). Psychology & Psychiatry Journal,23. Retrieved May 1, 2011, from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 2351712851).
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders; Research on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Published by S.M. Pace et al. (2011, May). Psychology & Psychiatry Journal,231. Retrieved May 1, 2011, from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 2351712861).
Sherry H Stewart. (2004). The Treatment of Obsessions. Canadian Psychology, 45(2), 189-190. Retrieved May 1, 2011, from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 638759631).
Simpson D. Adolescents with OCD: An Integration of the Transtheoretical Model with Exposure and Response Prevention. Best Practice in Mental Health. Summer2009 2009;5(2):14-28. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 20, 2011.
Storch, E. A., Abramowitz, J., & Goodman, W. K. (2008). Where does obsessive–compulsive disorder belong in DSM-V?. Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269), 25(4), 336-347. doi:10.1002/da.20488
Timpano, K. R., Keough, M. E., Mahaffey, B., Schmidt, N. B., & Abramowitz, J. (2010). Parenting and Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms: Implications of Authoritarian Parenting. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 24(3), 151-164. doi:10.1891/0889-8391.24.3.151

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marx and Weber; im a horrible writer, i know -_-

Eric Kim
Section A08
For decades, Captialism has been the dominant economic system of the world. Karl Marx and Max Weber both held different views of how capitalism came to be and how it affects populations politically and socially. Weber believed cultural structures had a very strong hand in the birth of capitalism. In contrast, Marx believed that conflicts between social structures had changed the dominant economic system, and it would continue to do so until societies would adapt Communist structures.
Max Weber emphasized the Puritan work ethic being the dominant force of capitalism. Their culture stressed hard work in one's "calling" and also looked down upon frivolous spending. This was accepted because of their concern with the afterlife over their worldy ones. Instead of spending their money, Puritans would reinvest their money into capital to continue pursueing their "calling" and naturally became very profitable. Eventually other cultures adapted a similar mindset for the profits rather than cultural motives and created capitalism
Marx believed that the societal clashes between feaudal lords and serfs paved the way for freedom. While the opressed did not feel that their disadvantage would shorten their lives, they would not revolt, but once they believed their oppression resulted in a noticeable decrease of their lives, they would revolt or strive for change. The clash between the feudal lords and serfs resulted in the dominance of the bourgeoisie.
Marx's belief seems to be more convincing. Revolutions that occured, such as the French Revolution included an Oppressor and a disgruntled Oppressed class. Eventually, the oppressed would rally and assemble to overthrow the Oppressed. Similarily now, it seems that the big name corporations are the oppressors and the workers of said companies, the oppressed. Recently their have been more conflicts between the two, somtimes resulting in some flares. The recent protest of at Wall St. Could be an example of another small conflict. It could be possible eventually that the oppressed would grow in unity and strive to make change towards the current system. Whether the change would happen through violent, or diplomatic means wis yet to be seen.

Monday, October 10, 2011


i like doing homework problems, but i hate reading. When i manage to solve a problem there is a sense of accomplishment i enjoy, so doing Chem homework is pretty satisfying. But reading? Of course i am gaining knowledge from reading, but its so difficult to see the rewards that i find it difficult to read for long periods of time. I hope i can find some techniques so that i can have an easier time reading my textbooks.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


In the midst of studying, working and playing sometimes we forget about taking care of out bodies. Personally, i had never really been much for going to the gym, but seeing as the gym is included with my apartment's rent, i wanted to start. Despite wanting to go to the gym oh so badly, there were days when i was either too busy or just too tired to go.

How do the rest of you guys manage to juggle your time between everything and keep in shape?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It Happens . . . (sometimes)

The above is a video a friend of mine created for the Interpretaions Film Initiative about a year ago. put together this project for aspiring filmmakers with an interesting rules. Dialogue was limited to:

"It’s not something I’d do."
"It’s not what I expected."
"You sure?"

4 lines of dialogue spread out among 3 short minutes. There are probably thousands of ways to interpret those lines and it was up to the filmmakers to show their own take on the idea.

As I browsed through the videos submitted during the event, I noticed that most were of very serious or depressing nature. Don't get me wrong, the videos were for the most part well-made and well beyond what i expected from "amateurs" but It seemed like there was a majority of super serious business films. YOMYOMF had provided example videos by more experienced filmmakers and half of them were serious while half of them were comedic.

I was glad that my friend created a comedic short with his interpretation. A brighter take among the amalgam of sad stuffs. The above video was his first production and I believe it came out quite well. Although one part borderlines on graphic.

The title of the work is called "Happens". I've never been in the same situation, but who knows? $!#@ happens.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Street Fighter

started playing street fighter for the first time ever.

i was bored so i attempted to make 2 wallpapers of one of the playable characters to give myself some practice in photoshop.

Monday, August 15, 2011

DOTA2 is gonna be huge

Once this game is released, the original dota will die soon followed by wcIII

HoN and LoL will pretty much die as well. S2 and Riot Games gonna be busy crying :'(

Matt introduced me to dota my freshman year in college and i've loved the game since. Another thing to worry about during the fall quarter sigh :P