Childhood Anxiety And Obsessive Compulsory Disorder Social Work Essay

For any childhood mental upset, critically assess the parts of biological, societal and psychological accounts. What are the deductions of these parts for the function of the societal worker?

Although there are many childhood mental upsets, for the intent of this essay I am traveling to research anxiousness whilst puting closer attending to Obsessive Compulsory Disorder ( OCD ) . Within the essay I plan to complect a instance survey with theoretician ‘s positions on biological accounts ; which will include Selye theory, societal ; which will include among others Katz theory and psychological ; which will include Engle theory and others, every bit good as integrating the deductions of these parts with respects to societal work. It is besides of import to observe that the instance survey from which I have chosen to pull, is merely one illustration of how an anxiousness upset can impact a kid. Although there would be similarities in respect to the theory of this instance when working with other kids with OCD, this is non a comprehensive list.

Anxiety is a signifier of psychological hurt. It involves a mixture of feelings which could include a child feeling frightened, every bit good as demoing many physical symptoms caused by chemicals released from the encephalon and organic structure to fix for a unsafe state of affairs under which a immature individual may experience threatened. There are different signifiers of childhood anxiousness – these include, Generalised Anxiety Disorder besides known as GAD, Social Phobia, Separation Anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress and Obsessive Compulsory Disorder ( Rethink, 2006 ) .

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Many of the symptoms of OCD are the same as anxiousness, although with OCD the kid will meet unwanted ideas, impulses and concerns that repeatedly run through their head. The sort of things that a kid may be concerned about is sources, soil, acquiring an infection and frights that certain activities are non completed right even after repeat. Certain objects or people need to be in peculiar topographic points so that activities can take topographic point, and fright of losing objects if utmost attention is non taken can be a concern ( Anxiety Care, 2010 ) .

In order to maintain the confidentiality and designation of people used in the instance analyze their names have been changed.


The brief background to the instance is that whilst working in a adult females ‘s safety as a kids ‘s support worker, I settled in a immature male child called Navin ( aged eight old ages ) and his female parent Kelly. They had fled from a town in the North, as Kelly ‘s spouse had been verbally and physically opprobrious.

Although the physician did non name Navin with OCD, he received support from the instructors at his school and one to one Sessionss at the Primary Care and Mental Health Services ( PCAMHS ) with respect to marks of anxiousness.

From the compendious information above sing Navin, it is clear to see that biological alterations which have taken topographic point over the class of his life have had a immense affect on his life experiences, and these alterations are divided into two classs. Thompson and Thompson ( 2008 ) argues that the normal development in which most people go through during the journey of their life-time is known as ‘the wide spectrum of the norm ‘ ( p.84 ) , and makes mention to the fact that we should non contract down our position on what is thought to be normal. The 2nd portion of the biological development is where things do non travel to be after, and so this could take to illness and disablement ( Thompson and Thompson, 2008 ) . Although anxiousness is non familial, an dying nature can be inherited by life or being in close contact with person who does hold anxiousness ( Howe, 1995 ) . In Navin ‘s instance, his stepfather had a mental wellness upset and so he would hold observed the behavior of his stepfather in response to his ain anxiousnesss. In add-on to this, Navin was populating in a hostile environment where domestic maltreatment took topographic point between his chief carers.

Howe ( 1995 ) argues that force, separation, and menaces within the household place can besides take to perennial feelings of anxiousness and as mentioned above can impact the fond regard between the kid and parent. Researchers believe that a strong but extremely dying and ambivalent fond regard is formed between grownups who are in state of affairss such as domestic maltreatment for illustration.


With respect to a kid turning up in a domestic maltreatment household the feelings of choler, anxiousness, demand and aggression could do confusion and may thwart the kid. These feelings are associated with marks of early societal want. The wanting of attending and viing for love in childhood can bring forth entrenched demands. If these demands are non addressed, so feelings of bitterness, guilt and choler might look ( Howe, 1995 ) .

A deficiency of emotional support between the parents could impact the manner in which they would supply emotional sensitiveness and reactivity to their kids. This might may take to an insecure fond regard between the parent and kid which could take to the kid holding a disturbed personality and enduring anxiousness ( Howe, 1995 ) . Navin was really protective over his female parent, as he frequently stepped in when physical maltreatment took topographic point. It is besides apparent that kids choose to be in an environment in which the maltreatment is taking topographic point, instead than upstairs where they can hear but non see what is go oning. The concern of traveling downstairs to see if your female parent or male parent is safe besides brings on the symptoms of anxiousness. This links good with the Parkes ( 1993 ) theory, and Johnson, and Sarason ( 1978 ) theory, which Gross ( 2009 ) uses to exemplify the effects of emphasis, and this is explored subsequently on in the essay. Social exclusion is besides really prevailing with respect to domestic maltreatment in the place, as Navin and Kelly felt unable to ask for people back to the house or construct on relationships that were already in topographic point, due to the uncertainness of the state of affairs within the place. In add-on there was concern in relation to bureaus going involved e.g. societal services, as in many instances of domestic abuse the culprit will do the individual having the maltreatment feel as though they are unable to look after or convey up their kid good. Therefore, the menace of societal services is used in order to forestall the individual describing the incidents in fright of losing their kid.

A kid may besides larn to utilize a defensive attack in order to pull off with feelings of insecurity, anxiousness and apprehensiveness. This is why a secure fond regard between a chief carer and a kid is critical for them to be able to last into maturity ( Howe, 1995 ) .


In order to research the biological causes of anxiousness farther focal point is traveling to be placed on theories of emphasis, as anxiousness and emphasis are driven by the same chemical reaction. Gross ( 2005 ) defines emphasis by utilizing Bartlett ( 1998 ) and Goetsch and Fuller ( 1995 ) definition of emphasis which comes under three headers, emphasis as a stimulation, emphasis as a response, and emphasis as an interaction between an being and its environment.

Cox ( 1978 ) theory which is similar to Goetsch and Fuller ( 1995 ) places his theory into three classs, which is the technology theoretical account ; this is a stimulation to external emphasiss in the environment. The physiological theoretical account looks at what happens within the organic structure, and the transactional theoretical account brings together the two chief inquiries which arise from the two classs above, which is what causes emphasis, and what are the effects of emphasis. In add-on, the 3rd inquiry which has been developed from both inquiries, is how do we get by with emphasis. An illustration of this theory took topographic point whilst Navin took portion in a little group activity. When the closet door was opened, the kids were asked to make up one’s mind on what plaything they would wish to play with ; Navin decided on Lego. Everyone sat down at the tabular array and at this point, a younger male child leant over to pick some Lego out of the tray. Navin responded to this action by happening it hard to take a breath, going really fidgety and agitated every bit good as non cognizing whether to shout, cry, boot or shriek. It was as though his whole word had crashed in around him and he was unable to speak about how he was experiencing at the clip. After clip he did mange to quiet down, by speaking to him approximately where this state of affairs came on the graduated table of other state of affairss that could hold taken topographic point. When I asked if he was happy for me to play with the Lego, he said yes, this was because he felt that he had the power to take control of the state of affairs.

Associating back to emphasis Selye, ( 1956 ) believes that the General Adaptation Syndrome ( GAS ) represents the organic structure ‘s defense mechanism against emphasis ( cited in Gross, 2005 ) . This takes topographic point when a stimulation is seen as a stressor ; there is a brief daze period where opposition to the stressor is lowered. This is followed by the counter daze stage, which consequences in the sympathetic subdivision of the adrenal myelin system ( autonomic nervous systems ) going active.


This stimulates the adrenal myelin to hide increased degrees of epinephrine and norepinephrine which is besides known as the battle or flight syndrome. The catecholamines imitate sympathetic stimulation, and noradrenalin is the receiving system at the junction of the sympathetic subdivision of the autonomic nervous systems. Noradrenalin from the suprarenal glands prolongs the action of norepinephrine which is released at the junction in the autonomic nervous systems. This prolongs the sympathetic rousing after the stressors are removed. If emphasis is non removed, so opposition takes topographic point and this consequences in a lessening in sympathetic activity and a decreased end product of catecholamines, but an increased end product from adrenal cerebral mantle. If after opposition emphasis has still non been removed, so exhaustion would take topographic point and the organic structure ‘s resources would run low ; suprarenal glands could no longer map decently and blood glucose degrees would drop which would take to hypoglycaemia and psychophysiological upsets.

Although medically we are able to explicate what happens to the organic structure when going stressed, there is no easy reply to what causes emphasis as persons have different degrees of capacity.

Parkes ( 1993 ) theory is used by Gross ( 2005 ) to reason that the psychosocial passage is the most unsafe to wellness when something sudden happens without notice in a individual ‘s life, and Johnson and Sarason ( 1978 ) theory found that life events which cause emphasis is closely connected to psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiousness.

When people believe they have control over a state of affairs and it is taken off from them more than one time, so this could take to erudite weakness. Which means a individual can experience powerless and unable to alter their state of affairs which could do them go withdrawn and passive ( cited in Gross, 2005 ) .

We are now traveling to travel on to research societal causes as everything that happens to us, happens in a societal context ; hence the influence of civilization and society can be of immense significance Thompson and Thompson ( 2008 ) .


To exemplify the utilizations of a favorable attitude Gross ( 2005 ) used Rosenberg and Hovland ( 1960 ) theory which states that a individual uses a favorable attitude in response to some category of stimulations with certain categories of response. These categories of response includes affectional: what a individual feels about the attitude object, cognitive: what a individual believes the attitude object is like, and behavioral which is how a individual really responds or tends to react to the attitude object. Gross ( 2005 ) draws on Hogg and Vaughan ( 1995 ) theory to explicate that attitudes provide us with ready made reactions and that this attack saves us energy because we do non hold to work out how we feel about objects or events that we come across. However by Gross ( 2005 ) pulling on Katz ( 1960 ) theory this illustrates a functional attack to attitudes and he believes that there are four maps of attitudes which is cognition, adjustive, value-expressive and ego-defensive. Attitudes can foretell behavior on the prejudice that there is a close connexion between the manner two variables are defined and measured.

Fazio et Al. ( 1977 ) argues that harmonizing to cognitive disagreement theory capriciousness may go on when a individual acts in a manner that is conflicting to how they would usually react. Although self-perception may be better used when behavior and initial attitude are consistent ( cited in Gross, 2005 ) .

Fiske ( 2004 ) uses Bems theory to exemplify theses state of affairss when we do non cognize our ain head or attitudes in front of clip. Impression direction theoreticians argue that disagreement experiments do non reflect echt instances of private attitude alteration but expression at looking reliable ; for this ground societal anxiousness and embarrassment is avoided. Therefore, this attitude alteration is encouraged by societal non cognitive factors.

If the relationship between a parent and their kid is hapless and unpredictable, struggles would non ever be resolved within the relationship and that could ensue in the kid going stressed.


The kid uses get bying mechanism through excluding, falsifying, redefining or avoiding the experiences which cause emotional agony, and confuses long-run attempts to get by with the societal universe. In add-on, if a kid received, inconsistent and fickle parental responses when he or she experienced anxiousness, so the kid would neglect to develop effectual schemes for covering with anxiousness in future occasions ( Howe, 1995 ) . This was apparent with Navin, and was chiefly due to the domestic maltreatment, which created an unpredictable childhood. The first few months in the safety were really hard for Navin due to non holding the schemes to cover with anxiousness. Therefore, outside bureaus, the school and the staff at the safety supported Navin in larning the schemes to get by, peculiarly around socialization.

Howe ( 1995 ) and Allport ( 1968 ) explained that ideas, beliefs and behaviors of persons were subjective by the genuine, imagined or mute presence of others.

A individual ‘s life revolves around fond regards with other human existences. Therefore, societal relationships which are warm, supportive and supply safety during the early old ages would advance good wellness physical and psychological. This enables us to negociate the societal universe efficaciously ( Howe, 2005 ) . However kids who have anxiousness may non hold formed unafraid fond regards as mentioned earlier in the essay, hence there is a possibility that they will be unable to negociate the universe efficaciously. Peoples conform due to two chief motives – informal societal influence, is the demand to be right, and normative societal influence, the demand to be accepted. As we grow and develop over the old ages we need to do sense of the universe ; this involves a figure of psychological procedures ( Cairns, 2005 ) .

These are partially cognitive which involve the thought procedure, and memory, partially emotional which relates to feelings and tempers, and partially behavioral which is how a individual responds to their actions ( Gross, 2005 ) .


Other societal factors, which contributed towards the household ‘s emotional wellbeing, included Navin traveling off from his stepfather, place, friends and school, all things that were familiar and a portion of his early childhood. Populating in the safety is non easy and is seen as a last resort. Due to the confidentiality of the safety reference, Navin was placed at a societal disadvantage as he was unable to ask for friends or household back to the house. This in its ego created isolation and exclusion for him.

Kelly was besides concerned about the stigma of being in a adult females ‘s safety, and made sure that when they went out that they were speckless and appareled good ; this was added force per unit area placed on Navin. By populating in the safety it was besides hard for them both to prosecute in mundane activities due to the policies put in topographic point refering safety, every bit good as the belongings being shared adjustment, which limits people to what they would usually make at place. There is besides a stigma around mental wellness, and it seems to be that people who are members of socially marginalised groups are likely to be stigmatised as a group instead than the individual ‘s single actions. Therefore, favoritism and subjugation are closely linked to stigma ( Thompson and Thompson, 2008 ) . Within a school scene, kids may see a kid with a mental wellness upset as being eldritch, stupid or brainsick and so once more this will do isolation. For that ground, it is of import for issues around mental wellness to be included in the school course of study, as this will supply kids with cognition based on facts that will enable kids to do an enlightening determination for themselves instead than listening to biass and stereotyped positions, which are frequently portrayed in the media. In a recent study carried out by stigma cry they found that out of the 3,000 people they interviewed two-thirds explained that they stopped making something because of stigma and two-thirds of people stopped making something due to fear of favoritism and stigma due to other peoples positions on mental wellness. Although the study was carried out with grownups, it did include carers of kids with mental wellness issues.

Although of import to cognize the biological and societal factors, which have an impact on a kid, it is besides of import to derive an apprehension of how the kid positions and thinks of themselves.


For Navin self-image was really of import to him, and although self-pride was low, he would project his feelings onto other people by doing them look stupid. Navin had spent many old ages internalizing his ideas hence, it took him along clip to acquire to the point where he could show his ain ideas and feelings.

It is of import for societal workers to hold a apprehension of biological, societal and psychological accounts as this will enable the societal worker to supply the right support. By utilizing a psychological attack, the societal worker will hold the cognition to take into history the kid ‘s development in regard of their life phase and their relationship/attachment which they have formed with the chief carer, and would assist in measuring the state of affairs. The fond regard theory would besides enable societal workers to analyze the relationship between female parent and kid. This theory could be used to back up a societal workers ground for intervening and high spot when intercession should take topographic point ( Ingleby, 2006 ) .

It besides helps to understand how the loss of attachment affects the kid.

It is of import and utile excessively, be cognizant of the different psychological therapies and attacks that could be used in societal work. It has been argued that the therapies have limited application, hence non supplying a holistic attack ( Ingleby, 2006 ) . Whereas the biopsychosocial theoretical account of mental hurt that was theorised by Engle, demonstrates the factors, which contribute towards, and sustains mental hurt ( cited in Payne, 2009 ) . This theoretical account is widely used by societal workers as it has a more holistic attack because it looks at the biological, societal and psychological facets of a kid ‘s life.

With Navin for illustration, it was of import to happen out about his childhood and the relationship he had with his female parent and stepfather in order to larn about the fond regard that look topographic point, every bit good as happening what he had observed sing domestic maltreatment as this enabled me to back up him in a manner that suited his demands.


In order to assist Navin settle in to the safety, it was critical for him to be enrolled into a school, as this would assist in making a modus operandi every bit good as back uping him with his societal and emotional accomplishments.

In decision, it is of import to observe that there are many factors which contribute towards a kid who suffers from a mental wellness upset and it helps hence to hold a holistic attack. It is besides vitally of import for the kid to be kept at the Centre of this procedure, and for the societal worker to do certain that the kid is non merely listened to, but besides heard, as the voice of the kid can be so easy ignored.


Bibliography and Reference

Anxiety Care ‘OCD in Children ‘ hypertext transfer protocol: // Accessed on 19th April 2010

Cairns, K. ( 2008 ) Attachment, injury and resiliency Therapeutic lovingness for kids London, British Association for Adoption & A ; Fostering

Gross, R. ( 2005 ) Psychology The Science of Mind and Behaviour Fifth Edition London, Hodder Education Part of Hachette

Horwath, J. ( 2007 ) Child Neglect Identification & A ; Assessment Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd

Howe, D. ( 1995 ) Attachment Theory for Social Work Practice Basingstoke, Palgrave

Ingleby, E. ( 2006 ) Applied Psychology for Social Work Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd

Payne, M. et Al ( 2009 ) Critical Practice in Social Work Second Edition Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan

Rethink ( 2006 ) ‘Symptoms of different anxiousness upsets ‘ hypertext transfer protocol: // Accessed on 19th April 2010

Shooter, M. and Bailey, S. ( 2009 ) The Young Mind London, Bantam Press


Bibliography and Reference

Corry, P. ( 2008 ) Stigma Shout service user and carer experiences of stigma and favoritism Time to Change: Stigma Shout London, Mental Health Media

Thompson, S. and Thompson, N. ( 2008 ) The Social Work Companion Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan

Trevithick, P. ( 2005 ) Social Work Skills a pattern enchiridion 2nd edition Maidenhead Open University Press

Walker, J. and Crawford, K. ( 2007 ) Social Work and Human Development Second Edition Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd



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