Symptom Media

OCD Assessment A-5

Evelyn provides a history of fairly mild obsessions and compulsions, including symptoms of counting and organizing. In public, she hides her counting by keeping her obsession non-verbal. As she has gotten older, Evelyn understands that her OCD symptoms are pathologic and that she needs help, although she admits, she has never felt she wanted help. Evelyn, however, has poor insight into the manner her OCD symptoms impact her work, other people, and her own thinking. She acknowledges that her fiancé recognizes her symptoms. She has read information about OCD in a pamphlet and is trying to determine whether her symptoms are hereditary. Thus, she is considering treatment. Once she learned about the medical etiology of OCD, she stopped blaming herself as strongly as she blamed herself prior to treatment.

OCD Assessment A-5

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[OFF CAMERA]: Describe the earliest obsessions, thinking or worrying about
something over and over that you remember.

[EVELYN]: Earliest obsessions. Probably about… 16, 17, and all of my albums had to be categorized according to the genre and then the artist, so yeah, about then.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe the earliest compulsions, doing something over and over, that you can remember.

[EVELYN]: Counting to the number four, you know, making sure things happened within, like, four steps, four actions. So, one, two, three, four. Or one, two, three, four. Something had to occur within four actions.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe any sense that you had that your obsessions and/or compulsions were unusual when compared to other people.

[EVELYN]: You know, I never really compared them to other people. I sort of just kept it close to the vest.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe any manner you tried to hide your obsessive-compulsive thoughts and/or behaviors.

[EVELYN]: Like, when I’m in public or with other teachers, I don’t count the four actions out loud. I just do it in my head.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe what you thought was causing you to have obsessions and/or compulsions.

[EVELYN]: You know, I don’t know when it started, of the whole, like the actual date or anything, but I just know that over time, it’s just a part of who I am now.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe any results from your… Or what did you do to try to stop your obsessions and compulsions?

[EVELYN]: Nothing.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe any anxiety you developed worrying about that you had obsessions and compulsions?

[EVELYN]: As I’ve gotten older, I started to worry that this isn’t normal and so it’s that much harder to stop, so, while I may not want to stop, you know, I think deep down, I need to.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe how your work or school work was impacted by obsessions or compulsions.

[EVELYN]: There hasn’t really been any negative impact.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe how your social life was impacted by obsessions and/or compulsions.

[EVELYN]: My fiance, he sort of kids me because he’s probably the only one who really knows that I do the whole four thing and so sometimes he’ll play with me and he’ll try to count to four really fast or really slow to throw me off but you know, it doesn’t work all the time, especially when we’re going out to dinner or something.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe how your thinking was impacted by your obsessions and/or compulsions.

[EVELYN]: Well, I’m always thinking about, okay, is this gonna be, you know, four, am I gonna stay within the four or does it go over the four so I have to really struggle to get things done in that four. You know, four steps, it has to be accomplished in four.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describes any actions or lack of actions due to your obsessions and compulsions which may have impacted other people.

[EVELYN]: I don’t think it has impacted other people.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe what you learned medically and psychologically about the causes of your obsessions and compulsions and what you plan to do about the causes.

[EVELYN]: Well, I did read in a pamphlet that it could be hereditary and so I’m going to try to get up the courage to talk with my mother to see if she has any of these symptoms as well.

[OFF CAMERA]: Were you ever treated with medications or other treatments for obsessions or compulsions and how successful were the treatments?

[EVELYN]: No, I’ve never been treated.

[OFF CAMERA]: What are your hopes for having either medications or therapy for obsessions and compulsions?

[EVELYN]: I think if I had to choose one treatment or medication, I think I would go with treatment first and then if that didn’t work, the medication.

[OFF CAMERA]: In the past, how severely did you blame yourself for your obsessions and compulsions?

[EVELYN]: Oh, I totally thought it was just something that, just a little quirk of mine, but after reading the information in the pamphlet and knowing that it could, you know, be hereditary, you know, I’m not as hard on myself anymore.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe what you wish for your family, friends, coworkers, and other people to know about obsessions and/or compulsions.

[EVELYN]: That it’s nothing to be embarrassed about and yeah, really, that it’s nothing to be embarrassed about because I’m sure we all have a little something.

[OFF CAMERA]: Describe any bad memories from your obsessions or compulsions that would motivate you to get into treatment or continue treatment.

[EVELYN]: Yeah, I didn’t think I have any bad memories of it, yeah, ’cause it hasn’t impacted other people to the degree of them being concerned.

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