Good Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Case Study Example

Type of paper: Case Study

Topic: Behavior, Psychology, Time, Obsession, Disorders, Family, Company, Anxiety

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/01/24

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of mental ailment that has two main components; obsession and compulsion. The overall symptoms reveal the two components and vary from individual to individual depending on the magnitude of the causative factors. Other related mental disorders include but not limited to; Bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic mental disorder, among others. This paper looks at the typical characteristics of a victim with the obsessive compulsive disorder to highlight and explain in detail the behavior patterns that can help in the diagnosis of OCD. Dallas Matt (Kyle XY), the main character in the 2006 series, Kyle XY is presented as an obsessive compulsive disorder victim. The behavior patterns he demonstrates is the focus of this paper. Additionally, other demographic factors that characterize OCD will be examined; the treatment options available for the condition alike.

Kyle XY

Kyle XY is presented as an experimental individual; created out of science by highly secretive company Zzyzx. The company’s corporates know of his ability and tried to assassinate the young boy in a remote forest; an attempt that failed. Soon after that, a family finds the boy naked and accepts to accommodate him without a single clue of who he is or where he comes from. He demonstrates weird characteristics, an aspect that made some family members reluctant in accepting him. Nicole Trager and Stephen Trager, the family's heads have two children, Lori, and Josh. They name the boy Kyle. ‘XY' was his experiment number. Kyle XY is disturbed in mind; the behavior he displays is way out of the normal. Nicole, a therapist, takes him as her case; a study model. On the other hand, Josh, Nicole's son, notes down every kind of behavior Kyle demonstrates in his notebook; a point he uses to place Kyle under ‘non-human' species.

Kyle’s behavior follows a particular pattern; a cycle of obsession, anxiety, compulsion, and a final temporary relief.

Obsession: Kyle experiences repetitive distressing thoughts in his mind. Since Zzyzx Company attempted an assassination of him, thoughts of murder have distressed Kyle. These thoughts come in a wave; images coming in from time to time. Kyle sleeps in a bathtub, images of ‘gunpoint’ come into his mind when left alone to the point he wakes up to look through the window(Kyle XY Season 1 Episode 8 - 2006 Full Episodes, n.d.), just in case the same assassinators are on their way coming.
Anxiety: as a result of repeated obsessive thoughts and images, anxiety ensues. This is a period of mental uneasiness over compelling illness that is yet to creep in. Even when with Trager's family members, a time comes when Kyle feels uneasy, walks into his room; mind sense of impending doom.
Compulsion: Kyle displays an uncontrolled behavior that is irrational, or rather out of the normal. This prompts Josh to note down any act he makes from time to time. A detailed explanation of this will be provided in the preceding paragraphs. The main reason for the compulsion surge is an attempt to put off the obsessive thoughts and images. A good example is Kyle’s night behavior, waking up when everyone else is asleep and peeping through the window. He does this on more than one occasion, sometimes without noticing. After this act, obsessive images disappear.
Temporary relief: A period of inactivity and normalcy returns after compulsive acts. During this times, Kyle looks normal, doing assignments for Josh and chatting with other family members. At some points, he spends time with Amanda, his ‘crush’, just as any other normal boy of his age would do. However, soon afterwards, obsession surges in again and the cycle begins afresh.

Obsessive thoughts

Fear of attacks: this is the main distressing thought to Kyle. Zzyzx is a highly secretive company and understands Kyle might reveal their information owing to his prowess. They make several attempts to kill him. At first, the boy overcame their powers and was elusive, ending up in Trager’s home. However, the thoughts of attack disturb Kyle throughout the series, being worse in season one and two. Zzyzx Company soon identifies where Kyle is and make several attempts to kidnap him. It is an additional distress to Kyle who spends most of his time thinking of the human figures he saw. He does not share it with anyone; he keeps the thoughts entirely to himself.
Fear of deliberately harming others and himself: Kyle takes an introversive personality. An introvert is one who finds pleasure in time spent alone than being with others. To Kyle, it is not by choice but the consequence of his thoughts. Kyle fears attacking others though he is compelled to doing so at times. At one point, for instance, Josh, who has become his best friend, a brother so to say, faces bullies at school. Kyle intervenes, beating up the young boys who try to harm Josh. Though he ends up in the principal’s office, the thoughts of harming others follow him.

Compulsive behavior

This is the second key component of the obsessive compulsive disorder. The acts done do not have a clear relationship with the reason for which it is done. In other words, as was mentioned earlier, it is irrational in the sense that it goes against the normal structure of doing things. Kyle exercised a number of notable behaviors that fit into the definition of ‘compulsive behavior’. Some are discussed below;
Frequent drawing of weird images: whenever images came into Kyle’s mind, he is seen closing himself in his room, takes his drawing pad and sketches pictures. The pictures do not have a clear link to any aspect of life and Nicole, who is very observant about his behavior, fails to interpret the meaning of the drawings. To Kyle, this behavior helps him forego the obsessive thoughts he holds.
Sleeping in a bathtub: it is abnormal in some way that Kyle avoids sleeping in bed and chooses to sleep in a bathtub. It is the best place for him to find rest and avoid his overwhelming thoughts. Josh finds this very odd and adds to his notebook. Additionally, he checks on his window from time to time to reassure himself of security.

Demographic characteristics of Kyle

Kyle XY is a middle-aged adult, in his late teenage years. He is highly educated; does assignments for Josh and passes highly in his interview at the school. Describing him as a genius is an understatement. He is in a relationship with Amanda; though he might have been in the same before, he barely remembers anything about relationships. Whether he hails from a middle-income family or a rich family is left for the viewer to unravel. He worked at first with Zzyzx Company before his woes began.
It is important to note that obsessive compulsive disorder afflicts a vast category of individual; it is not aligned to one demographic category. However, presentation of the symptoms follow the order described earlier. There is an obsession and compulsion behavior components.

Diagnosis of OCD

Nicole Trager is a psychotherapist by profession and is very observant of Kyle's behavior. Since Kyle does not communicate well due to his loss of memory, he uses features the young boy displays to conduct her research. However, the diagnosis of OCD in other individuals may not necessarily involve direct observation of typical OCD behaviors; history taking is the common model of diagnosis. OCD patients are placed into three categories depending on the level to which the ailment affects their daily activities. Mild OCD has an obsession and compulsive behavior occupying an hour per day; moderate OCD extends to three hours a day; while severe OCD extends to more than three hours. As long as obsession and compulsive acts are concluded, OCD becomes the underlying condition.

Treatment options

Psychotherapy is the treatment of choice for patients with OCD. This approach involves examination of the social and psychological factors afflicting the victim and provision of appropriate counseling. It is not a one day process, and the symptoms disappear gradually too. Nicole used this approach to resolving Kyle's case. However, pharmacological management is also employed in real practice; mainly administration of anti anxiety drugs.


An obsessive compulsive disorder takes a particular sequence of events in its presentation; obsession, anxiety, compulsive behaviors, and a period of relief. Kyle demonstrates this pattern. Though it is mentioned clearly whether he had OCD or not, this paper confidently concludes that Kyle XY had OCD; from a critical monitor of his typical behavior.


Kyle XY Season 1 Episode 8 - 2006 Full Episodes [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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