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OCD and social phobia go hand in hand


Many people who live with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) also struggle with social phobia.

Mostly male, lower socioeconomic class, with multiple disorders

More than a third of people with OCD have social phobia. Most of those were men of lower socioeconomic status also with body dysmorphic disorder, dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorder and other health disorders. “These findings have important implications for clinical practice, indicating the need for broader treatment approaches for individuals with this profile,” stated the research report published in Journal of Affective Disorders.

Studied over 1,000 cases

Melisssa Chagas Assuncao of the University Estadual Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and team studied over one thousand OCD patients aged a mean of 34.8 years whose medical history were part of the Brazilian Research Consortium on Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders database.

They found that 34.6% of the patients met the DSM-IV definition of social phobic and were more likely to present with sexual/religious and hoarding dimensions. They were also overwhelmingly male and of lower socioeconomic condition. They also showed a variety of other conditions like body dysmorphic disorder, specific phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, Tourette syndrome and binge eating disorder among others.

Complex nature of OCD revealed

“Several of these additional disorders… present phenomenological features that are common to social phobia, such as an excessive preoccupation with the judgment of others, fear of being rejected or humiliated, feelings of inferiority, low self-esteem and low self-confidence, excessive self-demands and hypersensitivity to criticism,” the report stated.

Should lead to improved treatment

The hope is that an expanded therapeutic approach can be taken by caregivers knowing the variety of conditions that present alongside OCD. They concluded that this “may contribute to improving current understanding of this complex disorder and orient more comprehensive and effective therapeutic approaches.”

Source: Journal of Affective Disorders, MedWire


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