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Obsessive-compulsive Thoughts In Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Self-development
Obsessive-compulsive Thoughts In Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Self-development

Video: Obsessive-compulsive Thoughts In Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Self-development

Video: Obsessive-compulsive Thoughts In Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Self-development
Video: Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 2023, December

In order to get rid of any problem, it is necessary to understand what factors support its existence. This article proposes to consider the functioning of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Obsessive-compulsive disorder consists of obsessive thoughts (obsessions) and compulsive actions (compulsions)

Obsessive thoughts are a product of a person's mental activity, not reality. Obsessive thoughts bring tangible suffering to their owner, and he feels the need to do something to get rid of them.

Obsessive actions are repetitive actions that a person thinks needs to be done in order to prevent some terrible event and get rid of obsessive thoughts.

Common types of OCD

  1. Fears of contracting any disease and associated cleansing rituals. People with such fears are afraid of both getting infected and infecting others if they touch anything.
  2. Doubt and uncertainty that force you to double-check or repeat an action to make sure everything is in order.
  3. Thoughts that the person considers unacceptable or immoral. This includes, for example, thoughts of a sexual nature or blasphemous thoughts. At the same time, a person has a fear that the presence of such thoughts makes him bad.

The main types of cognitions (thoughts) in OCD

Exaggerating the importance of thoughts (as well as confusion of thoughts and actions)

"If I think about the bad, it will come true."

"If I have such thoughts, then I am a bad person."

Excessive responsibility

"If I do nothing to prevent the danger, then I will have to blame for the consequences."

Thought control

"I can control my thoughts if I try harder."

"If I don't control my thoughts and think about something bad, it will happen."

Exaggerating the threat

"If I don't make sure to close the door, I'll be robbed."


"Making a mistake is just a disaster."

Intolerance of uncertainty

"I have to be 100% sure that I did everything right."

"If I am not sure about this, then I cannot act."

The root of the problem

Many anxiety disorders are based on misinterpretation of ordinary events. For example, a misinterpretation for a social phobia can be a distorted idea of what people will think of this person. For panic disorder, this will be some kind of unusual feeling, and the interpretation for both disorders will be the feeling that something bad is about to happen: the physical plane in the case of panic disorder, and social rejection in the case of social anxiety. For OCD, the misinterpretation of events will be worrying and overstating responsibility for possible harm to others.

OCD cognitive model

How do obsessions come about? Any thought can become clinically intrusive if dysfunctional beliefs and interpretations are involved, including excessive personal responsibility to prevent harm to oneself and others. In addition, they lead to the fact that a person feels the need to urgently take some action to prevent danger. Thus, it is not the frequency or controllability of thoughts that makes them intrusive, but the person himself incorrectly interprets his thoughts and events. For example, as mentioned earlier, a person may decide that they are bad if they think about something bad.

Let's look at the scheme of ROC formation according to Paul Salkovskis.

ROC functioning scheme


The person's early experiences and critical events from which to formulate beliefs and assumptions, in the case of OCD, lead to intrusive thoughts. A reaction is a set of actions to deal with a situation. What is at the head of this process is misinterpretation and a sense of responsibility for events. A person tries to either neutralize or prevent the current situation, experiencing a feeling of depression.

All of these actions, including actions aimed at neutralization, such as frequent hand washing or repetition of some other actions, and due to the fact that as a result of this anxiety for a while, misinterpretation of events is supported. Emotions sharpen these thoughts, magnifying them like under a magnifying glass. As a result, a person exaggerates their significance and a vicious circle is formed. Thus, a person does not have the opportunity to look at the situation differently.

Treating OCD is not easy and time consuming. Drug therapy is not always required, only in severe forms of this disorder. In a mild to moderate degree, psychotherapy can be dispensed with. As a rule, a cognitive-behavioral approach is often used, the effectiveness of which has been scientifically proven.