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ObsessionA History$
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Lennard J. Davis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226137827

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226137797.001.0001

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OCD: Now and Forever

OCD: Now and Forever

(p.209) 8 OCD: Now and Forever
University of Chicago Press

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was a rare and strange disease before the 1970s. Most estimates now say that 2 to 3 percent of the population will have OCD during their lifetime; that is two or three out of a hundred people. Recent attempts to describe an OCD spectrum increase the incidence to one in ten. How did we go from one out of twenty thousand to three out of a hundred to one in ten in less than thirty years? This chapter shows that we must be as scrupulous and suspicious of claims made in the name of science as we are about those made in the name of the arts or the humanities. It seeks to demonstrate the virtues of biocultural criticism and discussion, so that we can consider things like brain scans and chemical analyses to be as subject to an informed discussion as we would consider Moby-Dick or the work of Van Gogh.

Keywords:   obsessive-compulsive disorder, obsession, science, informed discussion

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