Allison Bechdel, in her book Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, reflects on her mental disorders; one of which was Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In Fun Home by Allison Bechdel, the author shares that she suffered from an unattached childhood with her parents. In attempting to relate the way Allison was raised and her relationship to her parents, it is obvious how it relates to her disorder, OCD. There are traces of this disease inflicted on Allison during her childhood which comes from a need for attachment to her parents.
In attempting to give a background of the disease, OCD, there could easily be traced as one Allison’s mental illnesses. Research states that, “OCD — is characterized by the occurrence of unwanted and disturbing intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses (obsessions), and by compulsive rituals that aim to reduce distress or to prevent feared events signified by the intrusion from occurring. Individuals presenting with OCD are at high risk of having co morbid disorders, with the most common being major depression (Doron, Guy, et al, 1022).
Allison experiences intrusive thoughts when she writes on page 135 that counted the drips of water that came from the tub. This action by Allison could be categorized as intrusive thought because she shows that she was superstition; and another name for superstition as described here is intrusive thoughts. This research data serve as a foundation of the symptoms Bechdel will later describe in Fun Home.
Allison’s symptoms as presented in page 135 of Fun Home can be correlated to this background research data. Bechdel writes, “My actual obsessive-compulsive disorder began when I was ten. First it involved a lot of counting. [Then I was], trying to manipulate the slightly leaky bathtub faucet with my toe so that it would stop on an even number of drips.”(Bechdel; 135) As Bechdel describes, she had suffered from performing various rituals. These rituals must have stated from a lack of a normal social structure or family. This lack of social structure must have come from Allison’s lack of a normal childhood; like having a mother and father who were affectionate. This lack of normalcy in her childhood was caused because Allison did not have a healthy attachment to her parents.
Doron, Guy, et al. “Adult attachment insecurities are related to obsessive compulsive phenomena.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 28.8 (2009): 1022-1024. PsycINFO. EBSCO. Web. 11 Oct. 2010.