Monday, October 22, 2007

Matt Siegel- Project Proposal

David was an average 14 year old boy living in New Jersey. He lived with an extremely close family that did many things together. They would go to the beach, take vacations, and played sports outside. One day in the middle of David’s 8th grade year, he began undergoing feelings that he had never felt before. He started to think that things all around him were contaminated, including things that his family would touch. These thoughts seemed to come out of nowhere. Even David’s school, which is supposed to be a safe-haven for all children, began to seem contaminated.
Each day after school, David would come home and begin crying that he felt “dirty.” He would ask his mom to spray his backpack and all of his books with Lysol and then he would go into the shower for 30 to 40 minutes. After doing this for several months, the water bill started go up. This was becoming a problem; however, this wasn’t the only one. David also thought that tattoos were contaminated also. He didn’t want to be near anyone with a tattoo. If he was out to eat at a restaurant and the server had a tattoo and served the food, David would be forced to send it back because he felt that now the food was contaminated.
The topic that I will be researching is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This disorder can be very serious or very mild. If you mention OCD to any person, they may know what it stands for, but most don’t know what having this illness entails. The story of David above is just one aspect of OCD. Others have to do certain things more than once, such as, locking and unlocking a door numerous times before they truly allow for the door to remain locked. Others wash their hands constantly. And others are neat freaks and end up needing more time on tests because they feel that their work isn’t perfect enough. Many erasers get worn out with this aspect of the disorder.
This topic is inconvenient for many reasons. Much of the problem lies with ignorance. Approximately 2.2 million Americans suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but nobody wants to deal with it. As with many other diseases or disorders, people believe that as long as it does not become a problem for them, then it doesn’t matter. However, in David’s story, his family was extremely affected by David’s actions. David wished so hard that he could help himself, but he just couldn’t. David is just one of millions of people with this disorder and the problem is that the general population doesn’t know what it is or just pretends as if it doesn’t exist. My research questions are as follows: why do we ignore OCD in our society? Why is it so bad to have a mental disease or disorder? Can OCD truly affect others besides the actual person? I plan on making the topic of OCD more widely known and more widely accepted. Once one has a clear understanding of this disorder, that’s when the questions of why society ignores it come.


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