OCD and Anxiety Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #29
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Ever heard a really good joke about polio?
Or made a casual reference to someone having hepatitis? Or maybe teased your buddy by saying
he has muscular dystrophy? Of course you have never done that, because
you are not a terrible person. You’d never make fun of someone for having a physical
illness, but folks make all kinds of offhand remarks about people having mental illnesses
and never give it a second thought. How often have you heard a person say that
someone’s psycho, or schizo, or bipolar, or OCD? I can pretty much guarantee that the
people who used those terms had no idea what they actually meant. We’ve talked about how psychological disorders
and the people who have them have often been stigmatized. But at the same time, we tend to minimize
those disorders, using them as nicknames for things that people do, think, or say, that
may not exactly be universal, but are still basically healthy. And we all do it, but only because we don’t
really understand those conditions. But that’s why we’re here, because as we go
deeper into psychological disorders, we get a clearer understanding of their symptoms,
types, causes, and the perspectives that help explain them. And some of the most common disorders have
their root in an unpleasant mental state that’s familiar to us all: anxiety. It’s a part of being human, but for some people
it can develop into intense fear, and paralyzing dread, and ultimately turn into full-fledged
anxiety disorder. Defining psychological disorders again: a
deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional pattern of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that interferes
with the ability to function in a healthy way. So when it comes to anxiety, that definition
is the difference between the guy you probably called phobic because he didn’t like Space
Mountain as much as you did, and the person who truly can’t leave their house for fear
of interacting with others. It’s the difference between the girl who’s
teased by her friends as being OCD because she does her laundry every night and the girl who
has to wash her hands so often that they bleed. Starting today, you’re going to understand
all of those terms you’ve been using. We commonly equate anxiety with fear, but
anxiety disorders aren’t just a matter of fear itself. A key component is also what we do to get
rid of that fear. Say someone almost drowned as a kid and is
now afraid of water. A family picnic at the river may cause that
anxiety to bubble up, and to cope, they may stay sequestered in the car, less anxious
but probably still unhappy while the rest of the family is having fun. So, in clinical terms, anxiety disorders are
characterized not only by distressing, persistent anxiety but also often by the dysfunctional
behaviors that reduce that anxiety. At least a fifth of all people will experience
a diagnosable anxiety disorder of some kind at some point in their lives. That is a lot
of us. So I want to start out with a condition that
used to be categorized as an anxiety disorder but is now considered complex enough to be
in a class by itself, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD. You probably know that condition is characterized
by unwanted repetitive thoughts, which become obsessions, which are sometimes accompanied
by actions, which become compulsions. And it is a great example of a psychological
disorder that could use some mental-health myth busting. Being neat, and orderly, and fastidious does
not make you OCD. OCD is a debilitating condition whose sufferers
take normal behaviors like, washing your hands, or double checking that you turned off the
stove and perform them compulsively. And they often use these compulsive, even ritualistic
behaviors to relieve intense and unbearable anxiety. So, soon they’re scrubbing their hands every five minutes, or constantly checking the stove, or counting the exact number of steps they
take everywhere they go. If you’re still unclear about what it means
for disorders to be deviant, distressful and dysfunctional, OCD might help you understand. Because it is hard to keep a job, run a household,
sit still, or do much of anything if you feel intensely compelled to run to the kitchen
twenty times an hour. And both the thoughts and behaviors associated with
OCD are often driven by a fear that is itself obsessive, like if you don’t go to the kitchen
right now your house will burn down and your child will die which makes the condition that
much more distressing and self-reinforcing. There are treatments that help OCD including certain
kinds of psychotherapy and some psychotropic drugs. But the key here is that it is not a description
for your roommate who cleans her bathroom twice a week, or the guy in the cubicle next to
you, who only likes to use green felt tip pens. And even though OCD is considered its own
unique set of psychological issues, the pervasive senses of fear, worry, and loss of control
that often accompany it, have a lot in common with other anxiety disorders. The broadest of these is Generalized Anxiety
Disorder or GAD. People with this condition tend to feel continually
tense and apprehensive, experiencing unfocused, negative, and out-of-control feelings. Of course feeling this way occasionally is
common enough, but feeling it consistently for over six months – the length of time required for
a formal diagnosis – is not. Folks with GAD worry all the time and are
frequently agitated and on edge, but unlike some other kinds of anxiety, patients often can’t
identify what’s causing the anxiousness, so they don’t even know what to avoid. Then there’s Panic Disorder, which affects about
1 in 75 people, most often teens and young adults. It’s calling card is Panic Attacks or sudden
episodes of intense dread or sudden fear that come without warning. Unlike the symptoms of GAD which can be hard
to pin down, Panic Attacks are brief, well-defined, and sometimes severe bouts of elevated anxiety. And if you’ve ever had one, or been with someone
who has, you know that they call these attacks for good reason. They can cause chest pains and racing heartbeat,
difficulty breathing and a general sense that you’re going crazy or even dying. It’s as
awful as it sounds. We’ve talked a lot about the body’s physiological
fight or flight response and that’s definitely part of what’s going on here, even though
there often isn’t an obvious trigger. There may be a genetic pre-disposition to
panic disorder, but persistent stress or having experienced psychological trauma in the past
can also set you up for these attacks. And because the attacks themselves can be
downright terrifying, a common trigger for panic disorder is simply the fear of having
another panic attack. How’s that for a kick in the head? Say you have a panic attack on a bus, or you
find yourself hyperventilating in front of dozens of strangers with nowhere to go to
calm yourself down, that whole ordeal might make you never want to be in that situation
again, so your anxiety could lead you to start avoiding crowded or confined places. At this point the initial anxiety has spun
of into a fear of anxiety which means, welcome you’ve migrated into another realm of anxiety
disorder, Phobias. And again this is a term that’s been misused
for a long time to describe people who, say, they don’t like cats, or are uncomfortable
on long plane trips. Simply experiencing fear or discomfort doesn’t
make you phobic. In clinical terms, phobias are persistent,
irrational fears of specific objects, activities, or situations, that also, and this is important,
leads to avoidance behavior. You hear a lot about fears of heights, or
spiders, or clowns, and those are real things. They’re specific phobias that focus on particular
objects or situations. For example, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in
Maryland is a seven-thousand meter span that crosses the Chesapeake Bay, if you want to
get to or from Eastern Maryland that’s pretty much the only way to do it, at least in a
car, but there are thousands of people who are so afraid of crossing that bridge that
they simply can’t do it. So, to accommodate this avoidance behavior,
driver services are available. For $25 people with Gephyrophobia, a fear of bridges,
can hire someone to drive themselves, and their kids, and dogs, and groceries across the bridge
in their own car, while trying not to freak out. But other phobias lack such specific triggers,
what we might think of as social phobia, currently known as social anxiety disorder, is characterized
by anxiety related to interacting or being seen by others, which could be triggered by
a phone call, or being called on in class, or just thinking about meeting new people. So you can probably see at this point how
anxiety disorders are related and how they can be difficult to tease apart. The same thing can be said about what we think
causes them. Because much in the same way anxiety can show
up as both a feeling like panic, and a thought, like is my kitchen on fire, there are also two main
perspectives on how we currently view anxiety as a function of both learning and biology. The learning perspective suggests that things
like, conditioning, and observational learning and cognition, all of which we’ve talked about
before best explain the source of our anxiety. Remember our behaviorist friend, John B. Watson
and his conditioning experiments with poor little Albert, by making a loud scary noise
every time you showed the kid a white rat, he ended up conditioning the boy to fear any
furry object, from bunnies, to dogs, to fur coats. That conditioning used two specific learning processes
to cement itself in Little Albert’s young mind. Stimulus Generalization, expanded or generalized
his fear of the rat to other furry objects, the same principle holds true if you were,
like, attacked by your neighbours mean parrot and subsequently fear all birds. But then the anxiety is solidified through
reinforcement, every time you avoid or escape a feared situations, a pair of fuzzy slippers
or a robin on the street, you ease your anxiety, which might make you feel better temporarily,
but it actually reinforces your phobic behavior, making it stronger. Cognition also influences our anxiety, whether
we interpret a strange noise outside as a hungry bear, or a robber, or merely the wind,
determines if we roll-over and keep snoring, or freak out and run for a kitchen knife. And we might also acquire anxiety from other
people through observational learning. A parent who’s terrified of water may end
up instilling that fear in their child by violently snatching them away from kiddie
pools or generally acting anxious around park fountains and duck ponds. But there’re also equally important biological
perspectives. Natural selection, for instance, might explain why we seem to fear certain potentially
dangerous animals, like snakes, or why fears of heights or closed in spaces are relatively
common. It’s probably true that our more wary ancestors
who had the sense to stay away from cliff edges and hissing serpents were more likely
to live another day and pass along their genes, so this might explain why those fears can
persist, and why even people who live in places without poisonous snakes would still fear
snakes anyway. And then you got the genetics and the brain
chemistry to consider. Research has shown for example that identical
twins, those eternal test subjects, are more likely to develop phobias even if they’re
raised apart. Some researchers have detected seventeen different
genes that seem to be expressed with various anxiety disorders. So it may be that some folks are just naturally
more anxious than others and they might pass on that quality to their kids. And of course individual brains have a lot
to say about how they process anxiety. Physiologically, people who experience panic
attacks, generalized anxiety, or obsessive compulsions show over-arousal in the areasof the brain that deal in impulse control and habitual behaviors. Now we don’t know whether these irregularities
cause the disorder or are caused by it, but again, it reinforces the truism that everything that
is psychological is simultaneously biological. And that holds true for many other psychological
disorders we’ll talk about in the coming weeks, many of which have names that you’ve also
heard being misused in the past. Today you learned what defines an anxiety
disorder, as well as the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder,
panic disorder and phobias. You also learned about the two main perspectives
on the origins of anxiety disorders, the learning perspective and the biological perspective
and hopefully you learned not to use “OCD” as a punch line from now on. Thanks for watching, especially to all of
our Subbable subscribers who make Crash Course available to them and also to everyone else. To find out how you can become a supporter
just go to subbable.com/crashcourse. This episode was written by Kathleen Yale,
edited by Blake de Pastino, and our consultant is Dr. Ranjit Bhagwat. Our director and editor is Nicholas Jenkins,
the script supervisor is Michael Aranda who is also our sound designer and the graphics
team is Thought Cafe.

97 thoughts on “OCD and Anxiety Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #29

  1. I wish my OCD meant I could clean. Instead, i see dirty dishes and my anxiety kicks me so hard that the thought of starting them makes me turn around and walk away. I literally can’t. Wish I was a dishwasher… one day damnit😫

  2. I over come the constant voices telling me exactly how to do things and in what order by challenging them. "Come At Me!" Prove something bad will happen if I do not do it right. We all die in the end. So i have won by being strong and more fearless. You ALL can do this too. Youll set yourselves free.

  3. I don’t know if I have anxiety but I always have these thoughts that something bad is gonna happen and I obsess over that one thing everyday non stop scared and I try to stay distracted so that way I won’t think of it. It’s gotten bad and I’ve been having this since like February and it causes me not to sleep and to stay alone. I am just in fear everyday that what’s happening can happen.

  4. Usually my thoughts will take over and I cannot live without my phone or laptop because then I will be alone with my thoughts and that causes me not to be able to sleep,eat,relax. When i think of it I will be still and shake, then make situations in my head that will cause something bad to happen. Now I’m mostly in my room and I haven’t been outside in a week. I don’t know what I have but it’s bad and I wanna feel better and hopefully it will go away

  5. You know what a bad type of OCD is?

    One which has you hit your grandchildren with a sock filled with nickels.

  6. Reading and listening to these comments made me realize that I have OCD and anxiety. And what I have experienced before are actually panic attacks – elevated blood pressure, 125bpm heart rate, slight chest pain, limbs are weak, nostrils suddenly and slightly being blocked or something. Now I know. I have anxiety disorder.

  7. I'm an eleven year old girl who finds this is interesting and wants to learn more, you never really encounter kids like that nowadays

  8. I have Iatrophobia (the fear of doctors/ or needles). I didnt originally think I had it but found I had blurry moments and panic attacks when needles or doctors tried to do something. I find myself avoiding the doctor.

  9. I think i have a phobia i cant climpt stairs that have a gab between them without sweating crouching droping to the ground and its kind of debilitating i was on a school trip and we walked at some glass stairs and i was so scared i felt like the glass will crack under my feet it took me 8 minutes to climp the stairs and yester Day my litle cousin put a doll at the edge of the balcony i tried to stop her from droping it (i was on the sixth floor) i coudnt go near the doll only pull her away i Just froze in the though of it droping

  10. There is hope out there my friends ❤ I went from having daily panic attacks and suicidal/self harm tendancies to being a lot healthier and more functional through lots of therapy, finding the right medication, and getting out of an unhealthy relationship. If you're going through anything like what I did I promise there is hope, your state is NOT permanent

  11. I have OCD and I used to wash my hands and use hand sanitizer about every 10-15 seconds because I'm terrified of getting sick, you can imagine how terrible it feels when your hands are already cracked and bleeding and you use a heck ton hand sanitizer. I also have a compulsion to write and say the number 7 over and over again otherwise my brain tells me that I'm going to hell or that I sold my soul, it is e x h a u s t i n g living like this 24/7

  12. I'm actually experiencing a mild/moderate attack right now from a social move I just made. Facing it, hoping I'm not making my fears worse. Listening to the science of it helps me detach a little bit.

  13. 2:08 I slipped off the steps when I was younger and almost drowned. The fear was no fun and actually traumatised me for years until I finally started getting swimming lessons a couple years ago until now which has helped as before I wouldn't even let go of the pool edges.

  14. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder when I was in elementary school due to trauma. I also struggle with OCD by picking at my lips beyond bleeding, also a trait I've had since I was a child. Since then I tried killing myself several times before the age of 14. Everyday is a struggle. I wake up feeling panicked for no reason, so much so it will make me feel nauseous all day. I'm constantly on edge and dealing with intrusive thoughts. I can't sleep till 4am no matter what time I wake up in the morning. Work is a constant freak out for me despite it being a regular retail job. I have panic attacks several times a week and I am always finding new things that trigger me. As of recently, I am finally being treated with CBD oil and its the only way I can sleep, eat, and feel like an overall normal human or what I assume normal people feel like. My lip picking is still hard to kick as it is very subconscious yet irresistible. Today I do my best using art as an outlet and educating people on mental illness and the lack of help for children who suffer with them here in America. Thank you for helping people understand. ♡

  15. I scratch my self really bad when I am anxious. Like I have bleed and have scars all on my arms and hands.

  16. I have GAD and panic disorder cause my child is severly disabled. I'm here cause I feel like I'm having a panic attack.

  17. I’ve definitely made fun of friends for their physical disorders, just as they have made fun of me for having OCD and Tourette’s. It’s called having a sense of humor.

  18. I have OCD and I just can't stand it. Constant thoughts, constant rituals, depression, tantrums, fear .. My rituals are distinguished by the fact that one has to not eat for almost whole days. I am really depressed, no matter how much I take the pills, they will never take away that fear and panic when I do not perform the ritual. Some thoughts are replaced by others every day. But at the same time, when I laugh at my OCD, it becomes easier for me. I think it's cool that my thoughts will never let me try cigarettes and drugs, because I’m afraid of them and stuff like that. But still OCD is scary.

  19. oh wow, my mom might suffer from OCD. at night, sometimes she feels the need to run around the house constantly asking about the whereabouts of someone within our household. despite them being right there accounted for-

  20. I hate when people say they have anxiety but they don’t because it’s not a trend it’s crippling and hurts 😔

  21. I use comedy to hide my anxiety because if I don't it will eat me up from the inside out and it woukd be a slow, painful death. Where I feel alone, my feet and hands feeling like ice as I slowly loose feeling of my own surroundings and wish that something could happen. Like faint, or get hurt or just be out of the situation because I just want to stop seeing everyone's eyes on me asking me if I was okay as hot tears flow down my face and my heart feels like it's pumping out my chest.

    That's what a panic attack feels like to me.

  22. i have OCD Anxiety and Depression i developed Ocd last month i dont like aloe vera and im supposed to be allergic to it i constantly wash my hands arms clothes. I have a problem with people touching me or standing to close i dont allow people to touch my hair unless they are aloe vera free or wearing gloves. i hope i win my case

  23. I’ve had panic attacks and it’s one of the worst things that I’ve lived through. I was at the mall and my mom gave me money because I wanted something to drink all of the sudden I was having trouble finding the store in the mall and i started crying and as described in this video i felt a sharp pain in my chest and had trouble breathing. I have only experienced these kinds of attacks about 4 times in my life and I’m 13 the attack came on to me from no where and after I found the store I felt like the attack had no reason to happen. I also felt trapped and as if for some reason had to get out of there quickly.

  24. It's very upsetting that people attach such stigmas to mental illnesses. It makes it so much harder to admit and seek help. Be more tolerant.

  25. I don't have obsessive thoughts. But I do perform mental compulsive checking when i leave my house (keys, phone, money, keys, phone, money, and so on and so on), and I also count numbers. Does anyone else here have the same symptoms?

  26. Any one get rid from this by understanding this,,Where were we before our birth, any baby made unconsciously by mother by eating or drinking pieces of Earth, so over a nine months water and earthen(soil) will form as baby from zygote formed from sperm cell and ovum , these two are also developed in male and female from pieces of Earth (food),,, so finally any human literally a piece of Earth, so Earth have ability to generate infinite number of human and animals

  27. The worst part about having a mental illness is.. people expect you behave as if you dont.the best part? Everyone has one
    🤘😜🤘

  28. I have an intense fear of monsters. So when I get a boner I panic and scream and I close my eyes and just start running while flailing my arms. I have run into walls, people eating at a rwatsrant restaurant table and I've even run into lakes and oncoming traffic. I'm scared of anything monster. Oh no wait what's happening to me…. ahhh ahhh ahhhhh!!!

  29. I like the video, dislike faulty, catch-all solutions. Most adults have tough enough skin not sweat it when people use a word "incorrectly" because language is not dogmatic. Words can have multiple meanings based on context, and at the end of the day sticks and stones might hurt you but words are just vibrating air. You shouldn't joke about things you know someone is specifically sensitive about but if you spend all your time preemptively and phobicly avoiding offending people there won't be anything left to say but whatever soulless drudgery one is up to.

  30. I’ve had social anxiety since I was five and I had my first panic attack the night before my first day of school, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Now I just meditate before going to bed and it helps a little bit. 🙂

  31. Why are only degenerates (preferably from the United States or the UK) affected by this ominous desease? Reminds me of these UFO´s which also, for some strange reason, exclusively obduct American citizens

  32. I suffer from ocd since I was 6 or 7 but that later on in life couse me to develope anxiety disorder it’s awful I had an anxiety attack infront of all the middle school I could not breath and I found myself gasping for air when I coughs my breath I broke out crying and sweating while being escorted to the bathroom by my teacher then she said hey can you still present please? Like wtf no

  33. My anxiety makes me nauseous and when I’m nauseous I can’t eat and not eating makes me more nauseous it’s a nasty circle I can’t escape.

  34. My anxiety makes me nauseous and when I’m nauseous I can’t eat and not eating makes me more nauseous it’s a nasty circle I can’t escape.

  35. I have the worst anxiety that I literally cannot escape and get rid of and constantly think of it all the time and stops me from moving forward and enjoying life

  36. I have pureocd and sometimes I just want to disappear and end my life so I won't have to live like this. Its pure torture.

  37. Girlfriend has OCD , carries a tub of Vaseline and hand sanitizer everywhere so she can keep her hands moist .

  38. I was wondering something for a while. I don't know if it's some kind of disorder, or if I'm just a wiredo. But if, for example, the tip of my middle finger on my right hand brushes against a doorframe while I'm walking through it, I have to go back and touch it with my left hand in the same place. Let's say I accidentally touched it with my ring finger instead. I have to touch the doorframe correctly with my left middle finger and then touch my right ring finger in the same spot. Sometimes this can go on for minutes trying to replicate how I touched it. And, this goes for anything too (if my leg touches a table, if I scratch my head, etc). So, can anyone tell me if this is a disorder, or if this is just normal?

  39. Thank you. Thank you for doing this. It is so hard to explain my anxiety disorder and other mental illnesses to other people. Thank you for doing this.

  40. I had a panic attack today and I told my mom I felt like I was dying. She has very bad anxiety and has had panic attacks, so she knew what was happening. I thought I was having a heart attack.

  41. Jesus Christ is not about time some kind of reasonable medication came out for ocd. What's available on prescription are zombie pills, you can have ocd or be a zombie, the choice is yours. It's 2019, surely it's about time a new medication came out

  42. I have diagnosed OCD about my car. I check the lug nuts about every 100 miles, I compulsively check fluids, whenever I hit a bump I'm convinced my struts are failing or my wheels are going to fall off. I get literal shakes, tension, and other adrenaline symptoms at the thought of driving. I think it's hilarious when people make fun of it because, while it's very real and horrible for me, it's a ridiculous disease. Obviously don't make people feel horrible for what they can't control but people rip on each other all time time get used to it.

  43. If only the government will pay people with these diseases so they can live normal lives.
    My mental state keeps me from working outside, and I’m poor as hell, but because the doctors won’t diagnose me(who are they to decide?!?!?!?!) I don’t get any financial support.
    PLEASE don’t decide whether someone is depressed or anxious based on physiologic studies. It’s never 100% right. LOOK AT ME

  44. I believe there's the unconscious thought of "What if they are faking it?" Cause to the layman, theres no physical symptoms.

  45. I always want to visit a psychiatrist just so i can understand myself. I’m 90 percent sure i have anxiety disorder. I do hang out with people, but i don’t want to. I celebrate when they cancel plans. I just fear that the next day i don’t have friends anymore. Most of the time, u can see right in my face that i’m not fully happy that i’m over there. I fear meeting my relatives. I fear judgements from them. I fear going back to school for college as an adult. I fear failing in my driver’s license test for the 3rd time. It stops me from doing things that i actually wanna do and it sucks. I look like a happy normal person but no one knows what’s really going on inside my head. I hope one day i will be able to visit a doctor and get checked

  46. Cue the self diagnosed, I truly wish you suffer for a day with these illnesses , and then tell me if you actually have it

  47. No lie, when I saw the drawing of the bridge I felt everything in my body drop so hard. It made me so nauseous and reminded me why I'm scared of bridges. I have a very irrational fear of water deeper than 6 feet piled on my social anxiety that caused my depression. I had to go on a boat for camp and it was hell even though I could see the other side of the lake. I was made fun of because I was too scared to do the swim test even with a life jacket. And I couldn't change in the stalls until the bathroom was empty. My fear of spiders had nothing on that experience…

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