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David and his OCD

25 year old David suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is plagued by unwanted, irrational thoughts. One of his overriding fears is that his father will die. When David was a boy his dad suffered from heart disease and this has haunted David ever since. But he's convinced that if he carries out compulsive rituals this will help keep his Dad safe. During the night our remote camera captures David’s compulsive behavior as he repetitively tidies and taps things.

David’s ritualistic behavior could be down to a problem with the basal ganglia in his brain which is the area that controls habits. Scientific studies have shown this is often enlarged in sufferers of OCD and is therefore overactive. This means that habits are formed more quickly and are more persistent – which may explain the desire to repeat actions over and over again.

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2 minutes