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Religions 2017, 8(8), 137;

Exploring Professional Help Seeking in Practicing Muslim Women with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Washing Subtype in Australia

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe NSW 1825, Australia
School of Psychological Sciences, Australian College of Applied Psychology, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Religion and religious practices can affect Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptom expression and influence the way that people with OCD seek advice or treatment. This study investigated the expression of OCD symptoms and help seeking for religious OCD symptoms among practicing Muslim women. Method: Five practicing Muslim women aged 33 to 45 years who had immigrated to Australia from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Afghanistan and were diagnosed with OCD washing subtype (OCD-W) took part in semi-structured interviews. Data Analysis: Thematic Analysis within a scientific realist framework was employed. Results: The most common compulsions reported by participants were performing excessive washing and repeating rituals before prayer, and these behaviours were carried out to prevent being punished by God. All participants had sought help for their OCD symptoms from an Imam before seeking help from a mental health professional, and the delay between symptom onset and OCD diagnosis by a psychiatrist ranged from 5 to 13 years. Conclusion: Effective evidence-based interventions for OCD are available and increasing awareness of OCD symptoms and treatment among Imams has the potential to reduce the delay between symptom onset and access to treatment for practicing Muslims who seek help and support. View Full-Text
Keywords: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; religion; Islam; women Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; religion; Islam; women
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mahintorabi, S.; Jones, M.K.; Harris, L.M. Exploring Professional Help Seeking in Practicing Muslim Women with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Washing Subtype in Australia. Religions 2017, 8, 137.

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