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2014年7月 7日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:もう少しラクになれば /東京

June 29, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Be easier on yourself
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:もう少しラクになれば /東京

We all live through life with our own preferences. Some people like to eat in the open air, while others dislike it because they think it's dirty. When these preferences grow to the size that they interfere with work or private life, however, that is called "obsessive-compulsive disorder" (OCD).

OCD is a common psychological disorder, like depression. A common obsession amongst those with OCD is repeated washing of hands or clothing because of worry that they or their surroundings are covered with germs. Another is repeatedly "checking" on something, like that doors or windows are closed or that gas valves are shut. Sometimes the obsession is an arbitrary rule like "start walking with the right foot" or doing anything to avoid using a particular number. OCD is much more severe than just having strong preferences or believing in good luck charms. In many cases, the person with OCD agonizes because they know what they are doing is unreasonable but they cannot stop.

These days, it is thought that OCD is caused not just by personality or stress, but by problems with the distribution of brain hormones. Often medicine to correct this distribution is used in the treatment of OCD, and behavioral treatment that involves gradually gaining control over the problem behavior is also said to be effective.

OCD often occurs in children. For a child who insists on bowing 100 times before they go to sleep, often the reason is that they think that if they don't follow that rule, something bad will happen to their family. Even if it seems ridiculous to adults, children often believe such things.

Family members should not scold such a child but instead be accepting while inviting them to do something more fun. For example: "Thanks for doing that for everyone, but you can stop partway. Now let's eat." If the family members get annoyed by the behavior, it will only escalate.

For children as well as adults, those with OCD tend to be serious, hard workers who are dependable at their jobs. I'd like them to calmly validate themselves, saying, "These preferences make up a unique part of who I am, but if I relax a little I can enjoy life more."

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2014年06月24日 地方版


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