Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

August 8, 2008

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is an anxiety disorder characterised by unwanted or intrusive thoughts(obsessions) which leads to repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions)that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession to get relieved from anxiety.

For example:
If people are obsessed with germs or dirt, they may develop a compulsion to wash their hands over and over again repeatedly upto the level of distress.
Many people have doubt that the door is locked or not; they may develop a compulsion to check repeatedly if it is locked or not.

These are some situations encounterd by normal people also but the difference is that people with OCD perform their rituals several times even though doing so interferes with daily life till they feel the repetition distressing.

What is Delusion?

August 7, 2008

A delusion is a belief that is clearly false (non bizarre) ;due to abnormality in the affected person’s content of thought. The false belief is not due to person’s cultural or religious background or his or her level of intelligence. It is the degree to which the person is convinced that the belief is true. A person with a delusion will hold firmly to the belief regardless of contrary evidence. Some delusions are:

Delusion of control: This is a false belief that another person, group of people, or external force controls one’s thoughts, feelings, impulses, or behavior. A person may describe, for instance, the experience that aliens actually make him or her move in certain ways and that the person affected has no control over the bodily movements.

Delusional jealousy: A person with this delusion falsely believes that his or her spouse or lover is having an affair. This delusion stems from pathological jealousy and the person often gathers “evidence” and confronts the spouse about the nonexistent affair.

Delusion of guilt or sin: This is a false feeling of remorse or guilt of delusional intensity. A person may, for example, believe that he or she has committed some horrible crime and should be punished severely. Another example is a person who is convinced that he or she is responsible for some disaster (such as fire, flood, or earthquake) with which there can be no possible connection.

Delusion of mind being read: This is a false belief that other people can know one’s thoughts. This is different from thought broadcasting in that the person does not believe that his or her thoughts are heard aloud.

There is a subtle difference between illusion and delusion.

What is hallucination?

May 9, 2008

A hallucination is the brain’s reception of a false sensory input. This essentially means that the person having a hallucination is experiencing an event through one of their senses that is not occurring in the real world. This can be through any of the senses. When auditory hallucinations are examined, the most common are hearing one’s own thoughts as if they were being spoken aloud, followed by hearing one’s name being called by a voice when alone.

Common hallucinations include:

  • Feeling a crawling sensation on the skin
  • Hearing voices when no one has spoken
  • Seeing patterns, lights, beings, or objects that aren’t there

Hallucinations related to smell or taste are rare.

There are many causes of hallucinations, including:

  • Being drunk or high, or coming down from such drugs as marijuana, LSD, cocaine or crack, heroin, and alcohol
  • Fever, especially in children and the elderly
  • Sensory problem, such as blindness or deafness
  • Severe illness, including liver failure, kidney failure, and brain cancer
  • Some psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, psychotic depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder

All of us some time or the other experience hallucination in our life…