For many decades, psychiatric disorders were lumped under the term “functional”. Any patient who had physical or other symptoms for which no biological cause was found was referred to a psychiatrist as there no biological basis was found for the symptoms’, and the psychiatrist dealt mainly with such conditions. This was half a century back. Today, the situation has changed. For many so called “functional” disorders, a clear understanding of their biological basis is emerging. There is no longer a dichotomy of organic and functional or even non-organic conditions.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is an illustrative case of this change. Starting with purely psychoanalytic theory to a an understanding of the biological basis to clearer research about the neuroanatomical, neurochemical and ethological basis, OCD has not only become known as a predominantly biological disorder but there are researchers who tend to think of it’s a neurological disorder.
OCD is an example emphasizing the mind-body relationship. A disorder with neurophysiological changes, responds to both pharmacological and cognitive behavior therapy alone, and the neurophysiological and neurophysiological changes seen in OCD, reverse with treatment of either psychological or pharmacological treatment or both. Being an eminently treatable psychiatric disorder, the diagnosis should not be missed, as it sometimes gets “masked” by co-morbid conditions.