Magical Thinking

Magical thinking is associating events that do not otherwise have an association. In  many cases, those of us with OCD notice the association of relief from anxiety when one
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Black or white thinking

This one is fairly easy to understand. Sometimes called all-or-nothing thinking, dichotomous
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Jumping to Conclusions

Thinking clearly is a very difficult task. If it were easy, we would be more like the Vulcans from Star Trek. Cognitive errors help us to think and reflect with more clarity about situations and outcomes. Ultimately knowing about cognitive errors helps in cognitive restructuring which is a tool used by CBT therapists. Cognitive restructuring
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If it feels like OCD…

It probably is. OCD is insidious in that it hijacks our perspective. A cascade of assumptions come in to play in what seems like a blink of an eye. It’s very easy to arrive at the conclusion, wrongly I might add, before gathering the evidence necessary to make an evaluation. It’s important to note that this behavior is deliberately streamlined in this way because it is much safer to assume that rustle in the grass is a predator than simply the wind or a harmless animal. So, to a degree humans are wired to jump the gun as it were.

Along with ERP, cognitive therapy is important. Learning how to think clearly can be a boon in the evaluation process like the revalue step in the 4-step brainlock system. There’s a downside to those who have the tendency to ruminate though. As my therapist mentioned to me my anxiety/OCD isn’t because I wasn’t thinking correctly but because of the maladaptation to specific thoughts and ideas which is why ERP is/was so helpful for me in breaking the cycle. 

That said I will go through some common cognitive distortions and logical fallacies in the coming months as it tends to help with difficult emotions like anger, guilt and fear which are ancillary to anxiety and OCD.

CES Update 3

Just giving an update. Overall things are going pretty well. The CES unit is surprisingly effective for insomnia and good for overall mental health. I strongly believe that CES should be used as a first line treatment for headaches and migraines as that has been the clearest improvement. It is so impressive in that department that I no longer have exercise induced anxiety that would manifest itself in somatic sensations Read More…

OCD and Guilt

Apparently, we as OCD sufferers have the fortunate distinction of having  “highly active” precuneus activity. Apparently the precuneus is responsible for our feelings of guilt. As it turns out, OCD sufferers have larger precuneus’ than average while psychopaths have smaller precuneus’ than average. The irony is not lost on me that many OCD sufferers believe themselves to be capable of horrible things because of their mental content and psychopaths will have little remorse when violating moral/ethical standards or rules.

It turns out we are in good company as David Beckham, Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake struggle with OCD as well. Not that I am happy they have it ,of course, but it is good to know that people can be highly functional while overcoming obstacles.

Existential and Philosophical OCD

I’ve been experiencing some OCD symptoms since last night and didn’t get any sleep because I was wound up. It was triggered by a book I was reading called “Free Will” by Sam Harris who is a neuroscientist. In it he argues for the philosophical position known as Hard Determinism which entails that free will does not exist. If I were to classify my beliefs on the subject of free will I would tend to fall into a compatibilist camp and maybe even slightly leaning towards a “libertarian” esque free will of my own making. I’m not entirely sure the Read More…