Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1-

Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Mimicking journey of psychiatry

Om Prakash Singh 
 Professor of Psychiatry, WBMES and Consultant Psychiatrist, AMRI Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Om Prakash Singh
AMRI Hospital, Dhakuria, Kolkata, West Bengal

How to cite this article:
Singh OP. Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Mimicking journey of psychiatry.Indian J Psychiatry 2019;61:1-1

How to cite this URL:
Singh OP. Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Mimicking journey of psychiatry. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Jun 20 ];61:1-1
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Full Text

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder whose evolution has mirrored the evolution of psychiatry itself. In earlier days, scrupulousness was a desirable characteristic for the religious and pious people. In many parts of India, “Suchibai” was a culturally determined form of behavior in which old aunts or grandmothers, mostly widowed, had to follow a set of rules in which excessive washing, cleaning, not taking food from outside, and not touching strangers were part of daily rituals. These were ego syntonic in nature and were tolerated by family members and relatives. It was considered a culture-bound syndrome.

With “Rat Man” of Freud, the disorder came into the psychodynamic realm. It was thought to be a prototypical disorder which could be explained on the basis of psychodynamic theories with classical defense mechanisms of isolation, undoing, and reaction formation. Along with the discovery of clomipramine as the pharmacological treatment for OCD, we gained greater understanding of its biological basis. OCD is one of the psychiatric disorders, which is deeply rooted in biology and has a well-defined neurocircuitry which provides a strong neurobiological underpinning. This has also lead to neurosurgery and deep brain stimulation emerging as one of the most effective treatments for resistant cases. At the same time, psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy still form a major modality of evidence-based therapies. It has traveled a long path of evolution from purely religious to psychological and finally culminating into a disorder with one of the strongest biological underpinnings among psychiatric disorders in which psychological treatments are very effective. The journey of OCD seems to have paralleled the journey of psychiatry itself evolving from sociocultural beliefs and practices to psychodynamic and, finally, culminating into biological theories, but still, there is relevance of psychological therapies.

This supplement brings forth the current state of knowledge and research on OCD. The guest editors Janardhanan C. Narayanswamy, Shyam Sundar Arumugham, T. S. Jaisoorya, and Y. C. Janardan Reddy have worked hard to bring out a supplement, which is timely and relevant.