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Psychopathology – OCD

2. Characteristics

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In this module, we think about the behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of OCD. These include: (i) compulsive behaviours and avoidance (behavioural), (ii) anxiety and distress, depression and guilt and disgust (emotional) and (iii) obsessional thoughts and insight into the condition (cognitive). We discuss each of these characteristics in turn and examine how they form a cycle of OCD which perpetuates the condition and from which it is difficult for sufferers to break free.


In this course, Dr Emma Sharpe (University of Derby) discusses obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental health condition characterised by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. In module one, we think about how OCD can be defined and diagnosed before moving on, in module two, to explore the behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of the condition. Next, we examine the biological causes of OCD in module three, focussing in particular on genetic and neural explanations. We then move on to think about how OCD can be treated, exploring drug treatments in module four and psychological treatments in module five. Module six concludes the course with a summary of key points covered.


Emma Sharpe graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from Loughborough University in 2011. Following this, she went on to complete both an MRes in 2012 and PhD in 2015. She joined the University of Derby as a lecturer in October 2015, having previously worked as a University Teacher at Loughborough University.

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APA style

Sharpe, E. (2019, November 07). Psychopathology – OCD - Characteristics [Video]. MASSOLIT.

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Sharpe, E. "Psychopathology – OCD – Characteristics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Nov 2019,

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