Thesis: Psychodynamic Theory for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Sample Thesis Paper

When Sigmund Freud first diagnosed Obsessive compulsive disorder he classified it as a psychoneurosis. He suggested that the roots of this malady may originate within a disturbance in the sexual development of children. He saw that there is a genetic and natural cause for the inception of the disorder. In order to understand how Freud saw this disease it is first important to understand his theory of infantile sexuality. In Freud’s theory the stages a child goes through include oral, anal and oedipal sexual interest. According to Freud it is essential that the child goes through each stage or there may be psychological problem which afflict him or her later in life. During the Oedipal phase in early childhood there may be a conflict between the ego of the individual and the sexual energy within him. This conflict is resolved when the ego determines a way to reduce the sexual energy. Unfortunately this solution has an inherent instability which may cause a regression in the earlier anal development stage. Thus, obsessive symptoms may emerge as a method of dealing with the repressed sexual energy.

Another theory suggests that obsessive compulsive disorder may be due to a feeling of deficiency of control over certain important aspects in the patient’s life. This theory was put forth by Adler who suggested that individuals exert control over their lives by continuously indulging in activities which they feel they are most skilful at. Another theory by Rachman and Hodgson suggests that it may be a compensatory behavior within individuals in response to an important event where they may have felt vulnerable. Another theorist by the name of Malan suggests that obsessive behavior may be sort of a defense not only against aggressive behavior but also any form of conflict that causes anxiety to the individual (Jakes, 1996 84-86).

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