When Dorothea Lack was a little girl, she hid under a doctor's desk to avoid
a vaccination. Undaunted, the doctor crawled under the desk and vaccinated her
then and there. Lack said the incident provoked a fear of doctors that followed
her into adulthood. "I didn't feel I could trust them," says Lack, PhD,
now a psychologist who performs research on doctor-patient relations.
It's a rare soul who truly enjoys visiting the doctor. But for a significant
minority of the population, fear and anxiety...
Involuntary and persistent thoughts that appear to be senseless (such as an overwhelming fear of dirt or persistent worry about a past event) and cause anxiety or distress
Attempts to suppress such thoughts
Recognition that these thoughts come from one's own imagination, not from outside factors (not true for children)
Repetitive acts such as hand washing, checking and rechecking locks or electrical appliances, cleaning and recleaning, preoccupation with symmetry or repeating words. These acts may be mental behaviors such as counting or praying.
Recognition that the repetitive behavior is excessive or unreasonable (this may not be true for children).
Depression and distress as attempts to deal with compulsions fail.
Mute behavior with agitated depression
Gradual decline in schoolwork, secondary to impaired concentration
Withdrawal and social isolation accompanied by delusional thinking
Mood swings from anxiety to despair
Ritualistic or compulsive behaviors as noted above
Call Your Doctor About OCD If:
You are experiencing some of the OCD symptoms listed above. You'll need help from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist if you are. Seek professional help if your child is anxious or depressed or has fears of aggression, sexual behavior, contamination, or disorderliness.